Serving the High Plains

Tucumcari's wrestlers take fifth at invitational

Tucumcari’s wrestling team finished fifth Saturday at the 11-team Al Salazar Memorial Invitational at St. Michael’s in Santa Fe, disappointing the squad’s coach somewhat.

Rattlers coach Eddie Encinias said most of his top wrestlers did as expected, but he wanted more from his second-tier grapplers.

“I think we should have performed better as a team,” he said. “The top four or five guys are doing their jobs. The rest of the guys need to step up. It’s going to be tough at district if things don’t change. They’re not where they should be.”

Joe Martinez at 170 pounds ended up being the highest individual finisher for the Rattlers at the tournament. Encinias said Martinez was leading St. Michael’s Jaden Mifsud in the title match when Martinez made a mistake and was pinned.

“The other guy caught him,” Encinias said about the loss. “With wrestling, one mistake will ruin you. Joe will beat him next time. I’m fine with Joe; I’m still high on him.”

Charles Prieto at 120 pounds, Caleb White at 152 and Colt Garcia at 182 also finished in the top four at the tournament. Encinias said Prieto and White “have improved a lot” from last season.

Dyson Clark at 195 pounds suffered a concussion when his head accidentally collided with an opponent’s during an early match Saturday and was sidelined the rest of the tournament.

Rules regarding concussions dictate that Clark will remain out of the Rattlers lineup for 10 days.

Cobre won the team title at the tournament, to no surprise to Encinias.

“They’re going to win the state tournament,” he said. “They’re too deep.”