Wrestlers head to state

By William Thomspon: Quay County Sun

The Tucumcari High School wrestling team took second at the district tournament held Saturday at Rattler Gym.

Rattler Coach Eddie Encinias said the second-place finish means Tucumcari should a high seeding at the class 3A state tournament this Friday and Saturday in Albuquerque.

The Rattler wrestlers faced off against Las Vegas Robertson, district champions; St. Michael’s; Pecos and West Las Vegas; Saturday. Tucumcari’s Brian Lopez took first in the 189-pound class and heavyweight Justin Garcia won his weight class.

Senior Michael Baca was second in the 160-pound class. Encinias said Baca has not had as much mat time as usual.

“Michael could win at the state tournament,” Encinias said, “but he has been out a lot and doesn’t yet have the stamina he usually has.”

Encinias said he liked what he saw out of Ben Arenas and Matt Garcia at the district tournament. Each finished second in their respective weight classes.

“One factor involved in the seeding process at the state tournament is how wrestlers have fared in head-to-head results against common opponents,” Encinias said. “We have done well in that area.”

Wesley Martinez and Michael Fazekas finshed second in their weight classes at the district tournament and Jacob Ramirez finished third.

“We stepped it up when we had to,” Encinias said. “We haven’t finished runner-up in the district in quite awhile.”

Encinias said wrestler Alberto Navarro is struggling with a sore back and is weighing whether he will be able to wrestle in the state tournament.

“Michael Baca, Justin Garcia and Brian Lopez are each capable of winning at state,” Encinias said. “I see four or five of our guys finishing in the top six places.”