Wrestlers wrangler multiple medals

Thomas Garcia

The Tucumcari Rattlers used Saturday’s wrestling tournament as a way to gain much needed mat time for their team.

“We had nine wrestlers medal,” said Rattlers coach Eddie Encinias. “We should have done better, though.”

Encinias said the team matched up head-to-head against the tough competition which, included wrestlers from Amarillo High, Robertson, Saint Michael’s and Pecos, Texas. He said the matches which were lost were only by a few points.

“Our guys were not finishing,” Encinias said. “It is still early in the season and the guys are going to get better as the season progresses.”

Encinias said he was happy with the high level of competition available at the tournament. He said the team benefited from seeing some of the best 3A teams in the state.

“We had the opportunity to wrestle against district and non-district opponents,” Encinias said. “In wrestling you are always happy to see what the competition is doing.”

Encinias said the addition of a few Texas wrestling teams gives the team a chance to see different techniques and levels of competition.

Amarillo High’s junior varsity coach, Jeremy Denning said the tournament will benefit the younger Sandies wrestlers.

“We are always looking for tournaments and matches close enough to get our younger guys some mat time,” Denning said. “This tournament was only an hour away and we have seen some good competition.”

Denning said the Sandies had an opportunity to see different levels and styles of wrestling as the team moved through the bracket.

Currently the Rattlers are on Christmas break, though they are still practicing for two hours a day.

“We keep going, even during the break,” Encinias said. “These guys know the only way to get better is to keep pushing themselves.”