RUIDOSO – Warrior wrestling coach Andy Olive wishes he had a full team, with someone in every weight class to put on the mat.
If they did, they probably would have put together a team win or two, given how well they competed individually.
They got a chance to shine on their home floor, too, taking on Silver and Cobre at Ruidoso High School in the District 3/4-4A/1A duals tournament.
“They’re being competitive and getting better every week in competition,” Olive said. “We had guys who competed before, and this week the scores were a little different. We’re hoping to take that success and run with it.”
This was the second duals tournament for the district, as the Warriors were at Socorro, Jan. 10, in the first round. At that tournament, Ruidoso faced off against Moriarty and Socorro.
The regular district tournament – featuring individual brackets and eventual entries into the State tournament – will be Feb. 10 at Silver.
Saturday’s matches were a preview of what the Warriors might be able to do in the next two weeks, and things look particularly good at the heaviest of weights.
Ethan Belin earned pins over Cobre’s Gabriel Rocha and Jerrick Grado of Silver, thereby securing victories over every opponent at the 226-pound class.
“I did everything coach told me to do. I tried to listen to what he was telling me,” Belin said. “Sometimes I don’t, honestly. I do hear him, but I don’t always listen to him.”
At heavyweight, Michael Marin was also successful, earning victories over Silver’s Benito Sierra and Reagan Ariola of Cobre.
At 152, Connor Jameson was able to outlast Izzy Jauerqui with an 8-4 victory, decided in the final period with a flurry of points on takedowns and reversals.
That was it for the Ruidoso victories on the day, although Bracxton Hall gave Cobre’s Ishya DeLaTorre all he could handle before finally falling, 11-7, at 126.
At 106, Dyllan Morgan also made it into the third period against Isaiah Marquez of Cobre, trailing 3-0 before Marquez got the pin.
“Everybody got better in practice over the past three weeks,” Belin said. “Some of the lighter guys, I hope they can get better for State, and I have to get better on my first shot. I want to go deeper and do more with the holds.”
With the individual district tournament next week and the State tournament Feb. 16-17 at Rio Rancho, Olive was still a little reticent to talk about his wrestlers’ chances at post-season spots.
“Everything we’ve done this year has been growth from last year and from years prior,” Olive said. “Cobre and Silver always have tough teams, and if we had full teams, we could’ve been neck and neck with them.
“This was probably the toughest competition of the year in 4A, and they did great,” he added. “I’m probably the most satisfied with how they did at this tournament than at years previous. We were in there and fighting to the end.”