PRESCOTT VALLEY – The family ties that run through Mesa can be quite astounding at times.
It tends to be the home for families that settle in and let the roots take hold for years.
Despite being the third largest city in the state, it seems at times to be a small town where families cross paths just about anywhere.
Even 80 miles away at the Division I state wrestling tournament where not only did two cousins wrestle to open the tournament, but the first two competitors from Mesa schools to advance to the state championship were a nephew and his uncle.
That was read correctly.
The nephew – Westwood’s Charlie Boyle – was born about four months later than Mesa’s Steve Jarman, his uncle, but he was the first one to clinch a spot in the Division I state championship.
More on their family ties in a minute because Boyle pulled off one of the biggest upsets of the tournament.
He trailed top-seeded and previously undefeated James Brown of Sunnyside 5-0 in the second period and couldn’t turn him with the cross-body ride.
Boyle switched it up, went to a double chicken wing, turned him and when he sat through Boyle got the pin with 10 seconds left in the period.
“I knew when I got on top I could take him out,” Boyle said. “He was stalling and doing nothing. Once I tried something different it opened up and I pinned him. It was amazing. I’ve been working for this since the seventh grade.”
Boyle made state last year and earned a top seed as a sectional champ but broke his arm.
“It’s been a long time and I can’t wait for tomorrow night,” said Boyle, who is 56-5 on the season. “I’ve been working with my uncle Dave Jarman, who was a state champ (at Mountain View).”
Steve Jarman, whose sister Iris is Boyle’s mother, will have a chance to become a state champion as well after beating Basha’s Ryan Roper 4-2 in the semis.
Roper got the initial takedown, but Jarman got a reversal to end the period tied at two. Jarman got another reversal in the third period and rode him out for the win.
“I kept working,” he said. “He got the first takedown, but it’s a long match. I just had to keep moving and eventually I got the points I needed.”
As far as seeing his nephew qualify for the state championship as well, Jarman realizes it is a pretty unique situation but has gotten used to crossing paths.
“I’m the youngest of 12 children,” said Jarman, who is 46-4 on the season. “His mom is the third oldest. We were born about the same time, so we’ve grown up with each other.”
They are two of six finalists from the seven Mesa schools. A total 10 of the 41 state qualifiers made the semifinals and now a half dozen has a shot at winning a title.
Desert Ridge put two in the finals to continue its standard-setting season behind finalists Cody Lewis at 160 and Dillon Stevenson at 182.
The Jaguars are assured of having their most state placers as Alex Wood (126) and Bailey Young (HVY) clinched a medal but lost in the semifinals.
Lewis beat Horizon’s Scott Kellenberger 5-0 to improve to 50-5 on the year, while Stevenson pinned Brophy’s Gabe de la Roche in a scoreless match at the buzzer of the second period.
Roche set the tempo, getting in deep on several shots, but each time Stevenson fended him off and regained neutral position. Twice Stevenson looked to have a takedown, and possible near fall points, but was called out of bounds.
Then he finally stuck one that sent him to the state finals.
“I’m known for my defense and I wasn’t going to let him score,” he said. “I did everything I could to keep him from scoring; then I got the big move.”
Stevenson qualified twice before for state, but never placed.
“I can’t believe it,” he said. “You work so hard and all you want is a chance to win. I’ve never placed at state before and now I am in the state championship match.”
The last two finalists are the Mountain View duo of Jeremiah Hollen (195) and Johnathan Garcia (220).
The two workout partners pushed each other to this point. They took opposite paths to the finals.
Garcia had two close matches to start and then pinned Perry’s Justin Clatterbuck in the second period, while Hollen made his second straight finals with a technical fall and major decision before having to pull out a 7-4-win against Sunnyside’s Matt Rees.
Hollen (47-1) wanted a rematch with Rees after the latter gave Hollen his only defeat on the year in the semifinals at the Peoria Invite in January.
“Of course, I wanted him again; I didn’t care when, but I wanted another shot,” said Hollen, who finished as the state runner-up last season. “I worked on getting that single leg on him since then. I knew it was his weakness and had to take advantage.”
Hollen struggled the last time scoring against Rees after getting into several under hook tie ups, but unable to score off it. Trailing 4-3 in the final 30 seconds, Hollen hit an outside single without tying up and took Rees straight to his back.
“I love good, tough matches that make you want to quit because you are working so hard,” Hollen said. “I knew I had it in me. I just had to take the shot at the right time.”
Garcia finished off Clatterbuck when the latter didn’t get off his hips fast enough and Garcia turned him for the pin.
“I had a chance to get some points, and went for it,” Garcia said. “I got the pin and now I’m in the finals. It’s the greatest feeling. It hasn’t set in yet and it still feels great.”
– Jason P. Skoda is a senior writer for MyNewsMesa.com. Send Mesa-based story ideas to firstname.lastname@example.org.
106 – Charlie Boyle (Westwood, Jr., 56-5) vs. Zach Espalin (Chandler, Frosh, 52-3)
132 – Steve Jarman (Mesa, Jr., 46-4) vs. Roman Bravo-Young (Sunnyside, Sr., 50-0).
160- Cody Lewis (Desert Ridge, Sr., 50-5) vs. Luke Jacobs (Brophy, Sr., 42-3).
182- Dillon Stevenson (Desert Ridge, Sr., 43-9) vs. Kashawn Crump-Valencia (Tucson, Sr., 49-1)
195 – Jeremiah Hollen (Mountain View, Jr., 47-1) vs. Chandler Deegan (Boulder Creek, Sr., 38-10)
220 – Johnathan Garcia (Mountain View, Sr., 45-2) vs. Anthony Phillips (Cibola, Sr., 35-7).