BENSON — The coming of the New Year, at least as far as the local prep sports scene is concerned, brings attention to the wrestling mats and the upcoming McGlumphy-Comaduran Duals Wrestling Tournament.
Wrestling fans rejoice and mark your calendars for Jan. 3-4. At least 16 teams have offered early commitment for the tournament which could draw even more teams and which should deliver an action-packed weekend of wrestling between some of the top area schools and grapplers.
The Bobcats, led by three-time state champion Clayson Goodwin at 220, and fellow team captains Dante Smolinski and Zachary McCarter, will look to help lead Benson to a strong tournament finish.
In addition to the Bobcats, St. David, which brought wrestling into its athletics mix last season, will compete, along with several familiar Div. IV foes.
Teams that have committed so far include Bisbee, Flowing Wells, Morenci, Douglas, Pima, Thatcher, Catalina, Amphitheater, Desert View, Empire, Tombstone, Willcox and St. David.
Perennial power Morenci appears to be the early odd-on favorite as the likely team to beat.
The Bobcats have not wrestled before the home crowd since Dec. 4. Benson competed least at Douglas Dec. 18 wrestling with the host Bulldogs and St. David, which came off the heels of the prestigious 40th Annual Tim Brown Invitational Wrestling Tournament on Dec. 13.
Wrestling in the top tournaments should help fuel the Bobcats’ road toward the sectional and state wrestling tournaments in February.
“... We have our young kids in the lineup and then we have kids who are seniors… I think this team can grow a lot and accomplish some great things,” head wrestling coach Ben Katshor has said. “They have to physically and mentally prepare themselves before every match and go out there and compete with confidence and know their moves will work. I think the beginning of the season team and the end of the season team are going to look completely different.”