An eighth-grade Tucumcari Rattlers wrestler has taken the opportunity to prove himself on the varsity squad with a first-place finish Thursday at Amarillo High and a 4-1 finish Saturday at Bernalillo High School in Albuquerque.
“This young buck has shown that he has what it takes to compete at the varsity level and is running with it,” said Eddie Encinias, Rattlers head coach.
Encinias said at 128 pounds, Joseph Martinez has shown a tremendous amount of ability in such a short amount of time as a varsity wrestler. He said Martinez’s skill and determination has even surprised him.
The Rattlers who placed at Amarillo were Elias Ortiz, first place at 138 pounds; Zach Martinez, first at 145 pounds; Antonio Norton Jr., first at 220 pounds; Joey Ulibarri, first at 126 pounds; and Xavier Garcia, third place at 160 pounds.
At Bernalillo Isaiah Valverde, 285 pounds, finished 4-0, while Norton Jr. finished at 4-1.
Encinias said the Rattlers continue to improve but feels they are not where they should be at this point in the season.
He said the team is in a funk, which can happen from time to time, though he confident with competition today at Pecos High School and Friday and Saturday at Trinidad Colorado.
“The guys know they need to step it up,” Encinias said. “The have the dedication to continue to improve and will be ready once district rolls around.”