By Thomas Garcia: Quay County Sun
The Tucumcari Rattlers wrestling team brought home two state champions and placed fourth overall in the 3A New Mexico State Wrestling tournament Feb. 16-17 at Rio Rancho.
“I am proud of our overall achievements this year,” said Coach Eddie Encinias. “We had two state champions and two third place winners and we will have three of the four return next year. I would like to thank everybody that supported us throughout this year.”
Brian Lopez (215) and Jacob Ramirez (112) won state champion in their divisions.
“I’ve placed second in state for two years in a row and to win the championship finally was awesome,” Lopez said. “This was my last year and that was my last match and I left it all on the mat. I am proud to have been part of this team.
“We worked so hard this year harder than any other team that I have been on,” Lopez said. “I’m very proud of all the guys. My dad was a big supporter for me this year. He worked out and trained with me and when I won, it was not only for me but for him as well.”
Ryan Fought (135) and Wesley Martinez (152) each placed third in the competition.
The Rattlers also won the spirit award for the cheering and support of their fans during the tournament.
“We had a lot of heart-breaking matches,” said assistant coach Daniel Lopez. “We had some of our guys lose by only one point. Michael Fazekas (130) lost by one point to the guy that ended up wining in his weight class. We are very proud of how our guys did this year. We had a lot of people come out and support us. It was great and we appreciate it.”