QUARTZ HILL — A Golden League wrestling match between two undefeated teams that will likely determine the league championship would be expected to be contentious.
The match between Littlerock and Quartz Hill got too heated on Wednesday night, as both teams had a wrestler disqualified, the second of which led to an injury and paramedics being called, as well as coaches and school officials intervening to calm both teams, as well as fans.
Ultimately Quartz Hill won decisively, 46-21, at Quartz Hill High School to improve to 5-0 in league and hand Littlerock (4-1) its first loss in league.
“It was just crazy,” Quartz Hill coach Ron Coleman said. “It was wild. There’s never been animosity between Quartz Hill and Littlerock. Littlerock is one team we hold in high regard.
“That was the first time I’ve seen it get contentious between us. I’ve had matches that have gotten contentious. That one got really ugly, really fast.”
Quartz Hill won three of the first four matches, to jump out to a 12-3 lead.
Tristen Mitchell won Quartz Hill’s first match, with a 4-0 win at 120 pounds. Preston Harvey followed with a first-period pin at 126 and Adam Wong followed with a 7-4 decision against Laurencio Lopez at 132.
After Littlerock’s Elvis Garcia scored a pin at 138 pounds, the Rebels responded by winning four straight weight classes to take a 31-9 lead.
Quartz Hill’s Alan Garcia won a 7-0 decision against Littlerock’s Dustin Luis at 145 and Quartz Hill’s Mason Fiala scored a pin at 152.
Quartz Hill’s Brody Penner won at 160 pounds when Littlerock’s Estan Arevalo was disqualified for three consecutive head butts.
“It gets really ugly fast. Chances are that was probably for the league championship,” Coleman said. “Wrestling in general is a very self disciplined sport. They’re very disciplined athletes. Those are kids going way beyond what other kids do. These kids outwork and outhustle other kids, but it’s a rough sport. Sometimes tempers will flare.”
Quartz Hill junior Austin Shafer, a second-year varsity wrestler, followed with a 9-1 victory at 170 pounds.
“I wrestled really well,” Shafer said. “I need to work on a few things. My behavior wasn’t good. I need to work on that.
“At the end of the day, attitude doesn’t help. Let your wrestling speak for you.”
The 182-pound match began as a tightly contested match, but abruptly ended when Littlerock’s Alejandro Aquilar was dropped on his head by Quartz Hill’s Andrew Gordon.
Emotions that were already running high, boiled over as coaches and players exchanged heated words and Gordon gestured towards the Littlerock coaches.
Coaches and officials from both teams calmed both teams down, as well as heated fans in the stands.
Aguilar won on a disqualification, but lay still on the mat as paramedics were called. Aguilar was immobilized on a backboard and transported to the hospital.
Littlerock coach Mike DeVestern said he would contact Andrew’s mother later Wednesday night to find out his condition.
“I don’t think it determined the match,” DeVestern said. “They were beating us. They came out more aggressive and more physical.
“I told them to keep their heads up and have integrity and sportsmanship. It’s the No. 1 characteristic for us, sportsmanship. If you lose a match, you go off with grace.”
Coleman said he considered forfeiting the remaining four matches, since the Rebels had already clinched the victory.
“We were considering bying it out,” Coleman said. “We had clinched a win. But they wanted to wrestle.
“It sucks it takes an injury for everybody to stop and think.”
The injury, which delayed the meet for half an hour, ultimately led the Lobos to forfeit their 220-pound match, since Aguilar’s brother Antonio Aguilar was scheduled to compete in that match, but left with his family to go to the hospital.
After competition resumed, Quartz Hill’s Ethan Soto-Capps scored a pin at 195 pounds.
Quartz Hill’s Maximus Maldonado had the forfeit win at 220.
Quartz Hill senior Antonio Samulde, a first-year wrestler, scored a 3-1 win in overtime of the heavyweight match against Littlerock’s Isaiah Flores.
“I won’t lie to you, I spent most of the time asking how his teammate was doing,” Samulde said. “I joked ‘I feel bad, but I still have to win this match.’ Tempers just need to be held in check. Coming from football where this type of thing happens all the time, this is supposed to be more of a gentleman’s sport.
“It was good competition. I think we have a lot to work on. I think we’ll have to work on more things, like working on the ground.”
Quartz Hill still has to face Highland and defending champion Knight.
Littlerock’s Jonathan Bartlett scored a pin at 106 pounds in the final match of the meet.
Littlerock’s Isaac Gutierrez had started the meet with a 4-2 victory at 113 pounds against Quartz Hill’s Zachary Burgdoff.
Littlerock will face Knight in its next league match after the New Year.
“We’ll take a break next week,” DeVestern said. “I don’t want to overwork them. I want to make them want to come back to the wrestling room.”