Rattler wrestlers in top five in invite

Four Tucumcari Rattler wrestlers placed in the top five Saturday during their annual invite at Rattler Gym.

QCS Staff Photo: James Lout

Rattlers Dillon Wood wrestled against Capital's Gilbert Mancha for first place in the 126 pound division. Wood was defeated, 5-1.

Dillon Wood placed second in 126 pound, Brysen Billing placed third in 285 pounds, Rudy Vellejo third in 220 pounds and Joseph Otero placed fourth in 185 pounds.

"I was upset when I lost the chance to wrestle for first," said Billing. "Though I knew I still had a chance at third so I had to put it behind me and wrestle."

"It's good to see so many teams and see the whole spectrum of competition," said Eddie Encinias, Rattlers head coach.

More than 182 wrestlers competed in the single day tournament with teams from Texas and 3-4A New Mexico schools.

QCS Staff Photo: James Lout

Rattlers wrestler Rudy Vallejo competes with a Sandies wrestler from Amarillo during Saturday's Rattler Invite.

"It was worth the drive to come here and compete against a lot of our district," said Michael Chavez, Pecos head coach.

Among the teams making the trip to Tucumcari were the Tascosa Rebels of Amarillo.

We usually have our own tournament though this year that fell through, said Joe Stafford, Rebels head coach.

Stafford said he has wrestled against the Rattlers before in tournaments in Amarillo and Dumas. He said this tournament will give his team much needed mat time before their six day break for Christmas.

Stafford said the Rebels will then travel to Oklahoma for the Gary Tournament. He said he likes that his team will get a great workout from this and go into the break hungry.

Encinias said the Rattlers next meet will be on Jan. 11 when they travel to Saint Michael's.

"We still have a lot of work to do and will probably have some shifts in weight classes," Encinias said. "Overall I am happy where the team is but they and I both expect improvements leading up to district."

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