By Thomas Garcia
QCS Senior Writer
The Tucumcari Rattlers Wrestling teams continues to show improvement week to week with a young core group stepping up the pace as the season progresses.
“This is an incredibly talented group of young wrestlers,” said Eddie Encinias, Rattlers head coach.
Encinias said he has strong leadership from his four returning seniors. That leadership has played a vital role in developing his relatively young team. He said currently there are no juniors on his team. Four sophomores and seven freshmen are filling out his roster this season.
“I could not have asked for a group of harder working young kids,” Encinias said.
Encinias said the team recently returned from the Saint Michael’s tournament in Santa Fe. He said the team only had one member place in the tournament, Joseph Otero, third place in the 145-pound class. All of Encinias’ wrestlers, however, qualified for a second day of competition.
Encinias said the tournament was filled with tough competition. Key competitors were 4A Farmington and Deming, and 5A Cleveland and Rio Rancho. He said the team responded well and showed a lot of improvement.
Otero said he was caught in a bad move that resulted in mat points for his opponent. He said he is working hard to improve his technique in order to prevent that type of mistake again.
Encinias sent the wrestlers out for a two-mile run on Monday, followed by a stint of bleacher runs and sprints.
Otero said the team knows they need the running to hone their conditioning. He said the running helps them prepare for the amount of exertion they experience in six minutes of mat time.
The Rattlers next competition will be at 9 a.m. Saturday at Pecos.