The Tucumcari Rattlers wrestling team were at full pace Monday working on conditioning and technique to prepare for the Al Salazar tournament at St. Michael’s High School in Santa Fe.
“We are expecting to see 10 of the top schools at this event, said Eddie Encinias, Rattlers head coach. “The guys are fully aware at the start of January the competitions become more vital and they control just how ready they are for these events. At the start of the new year, the competitions go by quick and before you know it district and state are upon you.”
Encinias said the team is ahead of schedule when it comes to conditioning, which is never a bad thing, although he doesn’t want his team to peak to early in the season. He said he wants the team to keep working and hopefully reach their peak just before the district tournament.
The Rattlers will go into the Saint Michael’s tournament with nearly a full roster. They will be missing wrestles in the 113-pound and 180-pound divisions.
Encinias said some of the wrestlers are recovering from being sick over the holiday break. He said he hopes to have the entire roster back by Friday but doesn’t want to push team members out of a full recovery.
Encinias said he is very pleased with the performance of his returning starters and the fast uptake from the new recruits. He said they work hard pushing themselves to get better each day.
“It is a great feeling just directing the guys and knowing they are going to do all they can to be ready,” Encinias said. “It’s their drive and will to succeed that push them. I just coach . They are the ones who know they have to push themselves to be champions.”
The Rattlers will compete noon Friday at Saint Michael’s High School in Santa Fe.