PRESCOTT VALLEY – A game plan is all well and good, but executing it is something completely different once the whistle blows.
Steve Jarman found that out quickly Friday night in his 132-pound title match against Roman Bravo-Young. The idea was to use a Russian tie in order to slow down the quick Sunnyside champion.
“I’d reach and as soon as I’d touch him, he seemed to disappear,” Jarman said.
Two others area wrestlers made the state title match but were unable to finish it off and ended up second on the podium.
Westwood junior 106-pounder Charlie Boyle came up short, losing 9-0 to Chandler’s Zach Espalin in the finals.
He trailed 5-0 after the first just like his semifinal match and took the top position but was unable to turn Espalin to get back in the match.
It stings but the mark it leaves is the most important part.
“It makes you to want to work harder,” he said. “I didn’t finish what I came here to do.”
Desert Ridge senior Dillon Stevenson came up short against Kashawn Crump-Valencia in the finals. Stevenson overcame a lot – separating both shoulders in the offseason – to get to the championship round.
Jarman had the longest odds of anyone going on this night.
He faced Bravo-Young, who is arguably the best wrestler in Arizona history after going 182-0 with four state titles.
Small celebrations are in order against that type of opponent.
“I didn’t get pinned or teched,” said Jarman, who admitted he was a little afraid for the first time. “I had him frustrated but there’s only so much you can do.”
He will return to the Mesa wrestling room as one of the leaders trying to take one more step up on the podium.
“It’s about moving forward and getting better,” he said. “The coaches will make sure we are better next year.”
– Jason P. Skoda is a senior writer for MyNewsMesa.com. Send Mesa-based story ideas to firstname.lastname@example.org.