Warriors get needed experience

By Todd Fuqua

Photo by Todd Fuqua Ruidoso heavyweight Michael Marin, top, holds down Las Cruces' Benito Hernandez, Feb. 2, during a dual at Alamogordo. Marin won with a fall in the second period.

ALAMOGORDO – When a snow cancellation wiped out the Ruidoso wrestling team’s planned home quad two weeks ago, it took away some valuable mat time from the Warriors.

They got some of that mat time back, Feb. 2, with a quad at Alamogordo that kind of came up at the last minute.

Photo by Todd Fuqua Ruidoso’s Tobias Spitty, right, holds on to Alamogordo’s Cole Kansea, Feb. 2, during a duals meet at Alamogordo. Spitty eventually earned a win with a fall in the first round.

Ruidoso expected to see Oñate and Centennial at the same quad, but instead faced off against Las Cruces to start and never got to see the Knights.

“There’s a point system in which (a team) can’t go over 32 competitive points,” said Ruidoso coach Andy Olive. “Centennial and Oñate each had just one point left, which is why we didn’t wrestle Oñate either.

“We took Las Cruces, because they had more guys and would give us more wrestling experience,” he added.

The Warriors did get a lot of experience, and got a 66-29 dual win over Alamogordo.

Probably the most exciting thing to happen for the Warriors’ was freshman heavyweight Michael Marin’s win over Las Cruces’ Benito Hernandez.

Twice, Hernandez had Marin on his back in a threat to pin him, and twice Marin on the reversal.

The second time, Marin got the pin with 1:33 left in the second frame.

“I made some mistakes, but I countered them,” Marin said. “It was a good match, and I didn’t give up.

Photo by Todd Fuqua Ruidoso’s Conner Jameson, left, is held to the mat by a Las Cruces opponent, Feb. 2, at Alamogordo.

This marks the second time this season Marin has defeated Hernandez, possibly the only wrestler this season to beat him more than once.

“When he (Marin) faced that kid at the Sierra Blanca Invite, I remember his (Hernandez’s) coaches saying that Mikey was stalling,” said Olive, referring to Marin’s one-point victory last month. “Tonight, he locked the door and threw away the key with that pin.”

Senior Tobias Spitty also got two victories at 170, including an overtime, sudden-death win against Las Cruces’ Austin Salas with a takedown.

He also pinned Alamogordo’s Cole Kansea with 33 seconds left in the first period, then lost an exhibition match against Tiger phenom Devin Brown.

Marin also won an exhibition contest against Alamogordo’s Zac Collins.

Also winning for Ruidoso were Joseph Morales at 126 with a pin of Jerrick Antiaga and Conner Jameson, a win by fall over Carson Rick at 138.

Now it’s on to district, as the Warriors are at the District 3/4-A duals tournament at Bayard Cobre on Feb. 4. The following week, it’s the individual district tournament at Moriarty and the State tournament the week after that.

“Tomorrow (Friday) we’ll have a real light practice and get warmed up and ready,” Olive said. “We’ll just see how things go.”

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