Rattler wrestlers head to district

The Tucumcari Rattlers wrestling team is headed to district competition Saturday in Taos.

QCS photos: Thomas Garcia

Paul Lucero does his best not to be pinned by fellow Rattlers wrestler Dillon Wood during Tuesday's practice.

"The guys have been pushing themselves to reach this point," said Eddie Encinias, Rattlers head coach.

Encinias said this will be the hardest week of practicing and conditioning the team will go through. He said many will not feel it though, because of the level they are at now.

"We have to work harder every day and give 100 percent," said Timmy Skinner.

Skinner said the team knows it's only going to get harder come district. He said there is no reason to be frustrated about it; the best thing is to keep working on improving.

"Our conditioning has shown especially this week, with some of the matches going into the third round," Encinias said.

Encinias said with just six wrestlers, the Rattlers scored 170 points Saturday at Las Alamos, taking first were Dillon Wood (132 pounds) Augustin Sandoval (152 pounds) and Rudy Vallejo (220 pounds); Joseph Otero (145 pounds) placed second; and Skinner (138) third.

Encinias said he will be looking for the seniors to lead the team through the district tournament on to state. He said he has high expectations for the team, while the teams' expectations are just as high if not higher.

"We know it's going to be tough, though we just have to keep working harder," said Wood.

"Over the past three weeks we have had several wrestlers place in the top three," Encinias said. "These guys are dedicated and always pushing themselves to be better."

In Las Alamos, the championship round did not go past the first round, said Vallejo.

"If anything, working harder is more important now than any point this season so far," Vallejo said.

Encinias said every wrestler gives his best when on the mats. Though they may not place, he says he is impressed and proud of all the wrestlers. He said last weekend at Las Alamos, Zach Martinez didn't place though he wrestled his best matches all year.

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