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Blue Devils win 12th straight state wrestling title

The Arizona Republic


For The Arizona Republic

PHOENIX – This was supposed to be a down year for the Sunnyside High School wrestling team, with two of the seniors in the lineup in their first year of wrestling and the rest mostly underclassmen.

Try telling that to the Blue Devils, who won the Class 5A Division II dual tournament Saturday with yet another dominant performance to win their 12th straight state team title and 27th overall.

Sunnyside, the tournament’s No. 1 seed, defeated No. 3 Ironwood Ridge 54-9 in the finals of the eight-team event at Phoenix Shadow Mountain High.

The Blue Devils have never finished out of the top two since 1978, when they finished third.

“I try not to think about it,” Sunnyside coach Bobby DeBerry said. “It’s mind-boggling.”

Ironwood Ridge had a chance at early momentum at 119 pounds in a rematch of last week’s state individual title match, but the outcome remained the same.

With the scored tied at 4, Sunnyside’s Lucio Murillo got a takedown with 48 seconds remaining against Kyle Webb and finished it off with back points in the final seconds for a 9-5 win. Murillo defeated Webb 8-6 for the individual title last week.

“We had to get 103 and 119 to get it going,” Ironwood coach Tim Berrier said. “Those would have given us some momentum.”

Sunnyside also won at 103 when Estevan Soqui, who finished fifth last week at the individual tournament, beat third-placer finisher Trevor Wilson 4-3.

Ironwood Ridge came back with wins at 125 and 130 as Scott Filbert got a pin at 125 and Luke McClure defeated Lestley Lewis 2-1 to close within 10-9.

After that Sunnyside took over and won the last nine matches, including two major decisions and five pins. Murillo’s match might have been too early to be the back-breaker, but it was a big match at the time.

“I knew it was going to be a six-minute match,” Murillo said. “It was about who wanted it more at the end.”

The scary thing about this year’s Sunnyside team is that it has seven wrestlers who are either freshmen or sophomores.

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