Tucson Ironwood Ridge won last year’s Division II state wrestling championship quite handily.
But the school wrestled at the Division I level in 2013-14, opening the door for several schools to step in and take over in Division II on Feb. 21 and 22 at Tim’s Toyota Center in Prescott Valley.
Which school will be the one?
It could be Yuma Cibola, which moved down from Division I to Division II. Or perhaps fellow Yuma school Gila Ridge, which finished second to Ironwood Ridge in Division II a year ago.
Other possible breakthroughs are Vail Cienega, Marana Mountain View, Queen Creek, Tempe Marcos de Niza, Prescott or Phoenix Barry Goldwater.
Four wrestlers will return to defend their state titles.
Gila Ridge’s Nathan Mendivil is back at 106 pounds, although he didn’t win in the D-II, Section I tournament.
That honor went to Brandon Courtney of Goodyear Desert Edge, who scored a 5-3 win in overtime.
Also back is Jacob Swift of Glendale Deer Valley. He moved up from 126 pounds to 138, and won in the Section IV tournament.
Troy Vandall of Goldwater won at 132 pounds a year ago and now is at 145 after his win in Section IV.
Kyle Jividen of Tucson Sahuaro will be back at 285, the top level. He won in Section II.
Kingman will be looking for its first individual champion since 1983 (Victor Martez). The man most likely to accomplish the feat would be C.J. Gore, who won at 160 pounds in Section IV.
Here is a look at the individual winners from the four section tournaments . . .
Section I – Brandon Courtney, Goodyear Desert Edge. Section II – Jason Ayala, Vail Cienega. Section III – Travis Widmer, Queen Creek. Section IV – Ben Ramos, Glendale Apollo.
I – Alexander Juarez, Yuma Cibola. II – Ryan Henkel, Marana Mountain View. III – Alex Dunham, Gilbert Campo Verde. IV – Sergio Hernandez-Gomez, Glendale.
I – Joshua Kramer, Desert Edge. II – Marco Romero, Tucson Sahuaro. III – Jalen Nevarez, Campo Verde. IV — Andrew Deneke, Glendale Ironwood.
I – Kyle Ford, Yuma Gila Ridge. II – Trey Waltz, Marana Mountain View. III – Philip Yitts, Gilbert Higley. IV – Ronald Reed, Phoenix Barry Goldwater.
I – Luiz Nunez, Cibola. II – Jace Manriquez, Cienega. III – Ryan Sondrup, Tempe Marcos de Niza. IV – Tristin Decker, Peoria Sunrise Mountain.
I – Andres Gandara, Cibola. II – Zach Davis, Tucson Catalina Foothills. III – Anthony Wokasch, Queen Creek. IV – Jacob Swift, Glendale Deer Valley.
I – Brian Zuniga, San Luis. II – Michael Nelson, Maricopa. III – Josh Nelson, Phoenix Shadow Mountain. IV – Troy Vandall, Barry Goldwater.
I – Kade Kottenbrook, Yuma. II – Adrian Torres, Marana Mountain View. III – Richard Florez, Marcos de Niza. IV – Brian Setter, Sunrise Mountain.
I – Pierre Gaud, Cibola. II – Danny Roberts, Tucson Cholla. III – Coleman Griffith, Marcos de Niza. IV – C.J. Gore, Kingman.
I – Vicente Guerrero, Cibola. II – Joseph Waller, Cienega. III – Elijah Halim, Tempe McClintock. IV – Jacob Burden, Deer Valley.
I – Liam Beaumont, Gila Ridge. II – Michael Spencer, Florence Poston Butte. III – Brandon Dowland, Marcos de Niza. IV – Nicolas Bayless, Apollo.
I – Ruben Mendez, Tolleson. II – Andrew Vera, Cienega. III – Nicholas Herrara, Phoenix Sunnyslope. IV – Daniel Hernandez, Prescott.
I – Simon Jacuinde, Cibola. II – Sammuel Reeves, Casa Grande Vista Grande. III – Jonathan Mondrego, Phoenix Paradise Valley. IV – Danny Reyes, Goldwater.
I – Humberto Cortez, Yuma. II – Kyle Jividen, Sahuaro. III – Drew Aho, Higley. IV – David Rupp, Prescott.