Quay County Sun - Serving the High Plains

Wrestlers split dual meets


December 18, 2019

Ron Warnick

Tucumcari 120-pound wrestler Zach Bradfield, his ear guards askew, takes down West Las Vegas foe Isaac Sanchez, who also lost his head gear during the middle of the match, Thursday at the Snake Pit. Bradfield won a 16-7 decision.

Tucumcari's wrestling team split dual meets against St. Michael's and West Las Vegas on Thursday at the Snake Pit, but the Rattlers' coach expressed general satisfaction with his squad's performances.

The Rattlers easily defeated St. Michael's 57-18 but were edged 42-34 by district rival West Las Vegas, partly because Tucumcari suffered two forfeit losses at the heavyweight and 132-pound divisions - one due to a football injury that should be resolved in a few weeks.

Tucumcari coach Eddie Encinias said he was confident his team would be more competitive against West Las Vegas when they clash in a district match later in the season.

"Once we get down to our weights, we're gonna be fine," he said. "It didn't count as a district match because they thought we'd beat them. They didn't know we had those holes (in the roster). When it counts, we'll get them, hopefully."

Tucumcari's dual-meet record stands at 6-3 on the season.

Double winners for Tucumcari on Thursday were Joe Martinez at 170 pounds, Dyson Clark at 220 and recently promoted eighth-grader Zach Bradfield at 120 pounds, whom Encininas has labeled "The Cardiac Kid" because of his back-and-forth matches.

"He's done that four or five times this season," he said. "When he wrestles, you never know what's going to happen."

In the middle of one of Bradfield's bouts, his West Las Vegas foe lost his ear guards and Bradfield's became dislodged, obscuring his vision at one point. Bradfield persevered and won 16-7.

Charles Prieto, wrestling at 126 pounds, suffered his first loss of the season against his West Las Vegas opponent. He is 8-1.

"Charles could have wrestled better; the guy caught him," Encinias said.

Tucumcari 54, Boys Ranch 30

Tucumcari 48, Borger 29

A strong showing Dec. 10 a meet at Boys Ranch, Texas, led to two dual-meet victories and a lot of enthusiasm from Encinias.

The Rattlers knocked off longtime Texas nemesis Boys Ranch 54-30 and defeated Borger, Texas, by a 48-29 score.

"Our guys looked freakin' tough, man," Encinias said. "We took it to them. We hadn't beaten Boys Ranch in a while. We'd beaten them in close matches, but not soundly like this."

Prieto, wrestling at 126 pounds for Tucumcari, improved to 7-0 on the season. Also winners were Caleb White at 152 pounds, Julian Vargas at 138, Joe Martinez at 170, Dyson Clark at 220 and Colt Garcia at 182.

Encinias said he also notched crucial wins from recently promoted eighth-graders Isiah Garcia at 106 and Zach Bradfield at 120.

In girls wrestling, Tucumcari's A'Leaya Lucero won by pin, and Brianna Willebrand won in overtime during their matches in Texas.

Event to honor coach

Encinias will be honored for his recent New Mexico Wrestling Hall of Fame induction before Saturday's 20-team Rattler Invitational that includes teams from Kansas and Texas as well as New Mexico.

The ceremony will occur about 8 a.m. at the Snake Pit, shortly before wrestling begins.


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