With 16 wrestlers returning this season, the Tucumcari Rattlers wrestling team preps for its third tournament of the year in Los Lunas.
“It is going to be great,” said Rattlers head coach Eddie Encinias.
Encinias said the Los Lunas tournament will give his wrestlers a chance to compete against 4A and 5A programs.
“The tougher the competition the better,” Encinias said.
A week after their debut at the River Road tournament in Amarillo, followed by a strong showing in Dumas, Texas, Encinias said the team will go far this year.
“We had a great showing at River Road and Dumas,” Encinias said. “In Dumas we had four sophomores place in the top five.”
Encinias said attending a second Texas tournament is just what the team needed.
“Those teams and athletes from the Panhandle don’t mess around,” Encinias said. “They are good competition.”
Encinias said the tough competition is a good reality check for the younger members of the team.
“It is going to show us what we need to work on,” Encinias said. “They know it is not going to be easy and that is what is great about these guys. They know they are going to have to work hard to get far.”
Encinias said the conditioning is ahead of schedule and the team is mostly focusing on weight classification.
“We have some wrestlers we feel will be better suited for another weight class,” Encinias said. “That is what every team and coach dreads, making weight.”
The Rattlers will compete on Saturday at Los Lunas.