BENSON — Fresh off a season-opening triangular, the Bobcats’ grapplers don the tights at home Wednesday before kicking off a busy road stretch that won’t have them back in Benson until after start of the new year.
The Bobcats will host Globe, Miami, Morenci and Thatcher in the Dec. 4 multi-team home opener on Wednesday at 3:30 p.m., then go head-to-head with Mesa on Friday [Dec. 6] in their opening match of the Quest for the Crown Invitational Tournament hosted by Higley High School. The Bobcats are at San Manuel in another multi Dec. 11, then at the 40th Annual Tim Brown Invitational in Douglas two days later.
Benson is not back home until the McGlumphy-Comaduran Duals on Jan. 3 to kick off the second half of the 12 match schedule.
The Bobcats wrestled Walden Grove and host Sahuaro in Tucson Wednesday [Nov. 27] with good results, defeating Walden Grove, 40-39, and Sahuaro, 48-30.
Under direction of head coach Ben Katshor, the Bobcats will feature a blend of experienced and young wrestlers this year. Seniors Clayson Goodwin, Dante Smolinski and Zachary McCarter will captain the ship with Goodwin seeking a fourth straight Div. IV state championship. He would join Alvaro Fenn as Benson High School’s only four-time champs.
Goodwin won by fall in the first period over Walden Grove’s R. Avelar who placed third in last year’s Div. III state tournament.
“We have certain expectations for our team,” said Katshor. “We do have some blank weight classes which we are going to have to forfeit, but this team is putting in the work and working to get better every day,” said Katshor, noting that Goodwin is leading by example.
Newcomers this year include Colton Tyra at 113, Conner Curtis at 120 and Zain Cluff at 160.
“... We have our young kids in the lineup and then we have our seniors. I really think this team can grow a lot and accomplish some great things. They have to physically and mentally prepare themselves.”