Tucumcari wrestlers grapple with the best of them

By Martha Frost: QCS staff

Tucumcari High School’s wrestling team started their season last weekend with the hardest tournament of all — Randall High School’s Greater Gold Invitational Tournament south of Amarillo — Coach Eddie Encinias said.

The team was up against the toughest Texas 4A and 5A high
school teams, Encinias said, including Palo Duro, Boys Ranch, Caprock, Hereford and even Lubbock Coronado.

“We had a pretty good showing — overall pretty successful,” he said, explaining his wrestlers now fight in weight classes newly determined by a New Mexico Activities Association weight management program based on body fat, weight, age and height.

Encinias gave a few individual tournament statistics:
• Team captain, Daniel Lopez, a junior, went 4-0 undefeated, up a weight class from 189 to 215.
• Fernando Ureste, a senior and 160-pounder, went 3-2.
• Matt Garcia, a junior at 145 pounds, “perfomed well” at 3-2.
• Ryan Fought, a freshman at 130 pounds and “a new kid on the block, fought real well for his first year.”
• Jacob Ramirez, a freshman at 112 pounds, “did a good job” at 3-2.
• Raymond Jimenez, a freshman fighting at 103 pounds, “did a good job” at 3-2.

“We start out with 4A and 5A Texas teams,” Encinias said, “because it’s a great opportunity to fight the hardest first and see where we’re at so we can get better.”

Encinias said there are no other 2A wrestling teams in New Mexico, so Tucumcari will be wrestling in class 3A. He said there are 20 wrestlers vying for 14 positions on Tucumcari’s wrestling team.

_____

Next tournament:

What: Rattler Invitational Wrestling Tournament
Where: Middle School Gym
When: Starts at 10 a.m. on Saturday
Texas teams invited: Dumas, Randall, River Road, Pampa and Hobbs
New Mexico teams competing: Roswell High, Roswell Goddard, West Las Vegas
and Tucumcari