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Ruidoso wrestling improves at home invite

By Todd Fuqua

Photo by Todd Fuqua Ruidoso's Dyllan Morgan, right, pins Santa Teresa's Caleb Gonzales, Jan. 6, during their 106-pound semifinal of the Sierra Blanca Invitational at Ruidoso Middle School.

RUIDOSO – OK, so eighth place isn’t all that terrific a finish for a team at a wrestling tournament.

Photo by Todd Fuqua Ruidoso’s Joseph Morales pins Alamogordo’s Felix Arias, Jan. 6, during the Sierra Blanca Invitational at Ruidoso Middle School.

But Ruidoso’s finish is better than it was last year at its own Sierra Blanca Invitational, and they were just a few points short of leapfrogging into a better finish.

Ruidoso trailed Chaparral by half a point and was only three points back of Las Cruces Oñate. One or two more individual wins, and the Warriors would have been sixth.

One wrestler that would have made a difference is heavyweight Mikey Marin, who was sitting out for disciplinary reasons.

“Not having our heavyweight in there changed it,” said Ruidoso coach Andy Olive. “I’m sure that would have changed it.”

Photo by Todd Fuqua Ruidoso’s Ethan Belin, left, tries to escape a hold by Alamogordo’s Zac Collins, Jan. 6, during a 220-pound match at the Sierra Blanca Invitational at Ruidoso Middle School. Collins and Belin later faced each other in the tournament’s third-place match.

As it was, Ruidoso had three wrestlers on the mat for the tournament finals, with Dyllan Morgan taking on Davy May of Deming in the championship match at 106.

May won with a fall in the second period, but Olive was still high on Morgan’s performance.

“(Morgan) is one of those that just gets better and better, he’s such a resilient wrestler,” Olive said. “You think you have him, next thing you know he has you. He wrestled that No. 1 guy (May) pretty good. Unfortunately it didn’t turn out how we wanted. But I’m pleased with how the tournament went,”

At 120 pounds, Joseph Morales faced Tobias Salcido of Rio Grande for third place, falling 16-5, while Ethen Belin took on Alamogordo’s Zac Collins at 220 for third.

Belin’s contest was a rematch of an earlier round, and Collins won the final as well, pinning Belin just 45 seconds into the match.

Big win for Minnix

Photo by Todd Fuqua Ruidoso’s Sharon Minnix pins Seth Rothman of Roswell, Jan. 6, during the Sierra Blanca Invitational at Ruidoso Middle School.

Probably the most exciting moment for the Warriors was when Sharon Minnix earned a victory at 132 over Roswell’s Seth Rothman. It wasn’t just that she won, it’s that she won in such dramatic fashion.

Trailing Rothman by seven points in the final period, Minnix needed a pin, and got it.

“She’s such a good listener, and in that match, I told her to let that guy hit into her and go for the head and arm, and she did it,” Olive said. “She won that match because of it.”

“I just had to work hard and put all my practice hours into this match,” Minnix said. “I wrestled my heart out. That’s all we have to do.”

Minnix is scheduled to wrestle at State, but in an exhibition girls-only bracket, part of the New Mexico Activities Association’s attempt to grow the sport.

“I’m very excited about that,” Minnix said “It makes me want to work harder. It will help wrestling grow.”

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Team scores

  1. Rio Grande 181.5; 2. Deming 164; 3. Centennial 160; 4. Carlsbad 126; 5. Alamogordo 89; 6. Onate 63; 7. Chaparral 60.5; 8. Ruidoso 60; 9. Roswell 46; 10. Santa Teresa 46; 11. Gadsden 39.

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