By Thomas Garcia Quay County Sun
The Tucumcari Rattler wrestling team was hard at practice Monday preparing for their first invite at Amarillo, Texas.
The Rattlers compete on Friday and Saturday against teams from Texas, Oklahoma and New Mexico at the Randall Greater Gold Invite, said Rattlers coach Eddie Encinias.
“We are hoping for a good showing at Randall with the level of competition we will be facing,” Encinias said.
The team will have about 25 athletes competing this year, including eight who qualified for state last year. Of last year’s state qualifiers, five placed in the top six at state competition, Encinias said.
The returning wrestlers are:
l Wesley Martinez
l Michael Fazekas
l Mike Martinez
l Ryan Fought
l Raymond Jimenez
l Matthew Pacheco
l Josh Enriquez
l Cameron Manning
The team’s roster should compare favorably with last year’s numbers.
However, Encinias said he would like to build and to see more interest from students to join the team.
“It is tough being a AA school and increasing our numbers on the wrestling team,” Encinias said. “ We are working hard to keep up with the larger schools that have a minimum of 50 kids on their program. There are a lot of students that could benefit from the program and should be wrestling. The challenge is getting those students involved and committed.”
The Rattlers first game at the Randall Greater Gold Invite is at 11 a.m. Friday at Randall High School, Amarillo.
Nov. 30-Dec.1 11 a.m. Randall Greater Gold Amarillo
Dec. 8 10 a.m. Rattler Invite Home
Dec. 15 9 a.m. Tascosa Amarillo
Dec. 27 8 a.m. West Las Vegas Las Vegas
Jan. 4-5 4 p.m. Los Lunas Invite Los Lunas
Jan. 11-12 1 p.m. Saint Michael’s Santa Fe
Jan. 18-19 7 a.m. Sierra Blanca Invite Ruidoso
Jan. 22 3 p.m. River Road Amarillo
Jan. 24 3 p.m. Tri Home
Feb. 1-2 10 a.m. Cardinal Classic Las Vegas
Feb. 9 TBD TBD TBD
Feb. 16 TBD District Tournament Las Vegas
Feb. 22-23 10 a.m. State Tournament Albuquqerque