More than 250 fans packed the Riches Wrestling Complex to see ASU’s annual wrestle-offs on Saturday.
Coached by ASU wrestling alums, and current Mixed Martial Arts fighters C.B. “Doberman” Dollaway and Ryan “Darth” Bader, 20 contending wrestlers took to the mat fighting for starting positions. The event is also designed to assess the strengths and weakness of the team as a whole.
The Gold team defeated the Maroon team.
“I look mostly for desire to compete,” coach Thom Ortiz said after the competition. “I am looking to see if someone is competing and how we can make them better.”
It didn’t take long for things to get heated up.
In the 125-pound weight class, sophomore Ben Ashmore pinned freshman Jason Carrillo a minute before the first period’s conclusion. That was followed by sophomore Anthony Robles, No. 8 nationwide in the same weight class, earning a technical fall victory against freshman David Prado.
Junior Tyler Bowles advanced in the 133-pound weight class, defeating freshman Angel Alegre by a 4-0 decision. He now awaits a showdown against sophomore Orlando Jimenez to decide the starting slot.
Sophomore Chris Drouin, who is ranked No. 7 nationally in the 141-pound weight class, defeated Travis Forster by majority decision 13-3. Drouin is expected to help lead the program throughout the 2008-09 campaign.
Freshman Kyle DeBerry won his 165-pound matchup with a majority decision against freshman Sal Musto, winning 12-1.
“This year, our team has really gelled,” DeBerry said. “Our team has really pulled together as a family because that’s what we are. We’re family, this is my family.”
Team cohesiveness was also on coach Ortiz’s mind after the event.
“I know at times, we are going to fail,” the coach said. “But I look to see that we fail forward. If you fail, [then] what are you going to do to rectify yourself? We are a team in this.”
The squad now prepares for UC Davis on Nov. 8 at Mesa High School.
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