Ironwood Ridge's wrestling team has served early notice of its strength, winning the 24th annual Westwood Tournament last weekend in Mesa.
Along the way, in dual competition the Nighthawks defeated the returning 5A-1 state champion Tempe Corona del Sol and 3A state champion Safford.
In the finals, Coach Tim Berrier's squad halted Yuma Cibola 39-27. There were 15 schools in the Mesa competition; Ironwood Ridge took third a year ago.
Ironwood Ridge had five undefeated wrestlers in Mesa – Trevor Wilson at 103 pounds, Tate Sandifer at 112, Scott Filbert at 125, Kyle Webb at 130 and Luke McClure at 135. Filbert, a senior, is going to wrestle at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point next year.
Ironwood Ridge travels this weekend to one of the nation's largest tournaments, the collegiate and scholastic Reno Tournament of Champions. Schools from the Northeast, California and points between are competing, with a collegiate tournament part of the event and college coaches in the audience.