Newcomb, Shiprock, Wingate looking to medal
It was just a month ago when the Newcomb High School wrestling team found themselves desperate for mat time.
They started late in the season without a coach, however, that was until former coach Tom Yazzie was asked to guide the team for yet another season.
In early January, all of his wrestlers were months behind in practice, but over the last month things have changed.
“I always said the more mat time they get there’s always a lot of room for success,” Yazzie said.
And he was right. The Skyhawks made up for lost time and just last weekend qualified four wrestlers for the 2017 New Mexico National Guard State Wrestling Championships to be held this weekend.
The team of eight qualified four wrestlers after competing in the A/4A District 1/3 district tournament over the weekend in Pecos, New Mexico.
Also in class A-4A, Shiprock High School will take another solid team to the state tournament.
The Chieftains had 11 state qualifiers out of 14 possible. The weight classes they won’t compete in are: 132, 138, and 220.
Shiprock had five district champions that included: junior Cauy Ute at 120; junior Zelldan Clark at 160; senior Zephaniah Hadley at 170; senior Logan Charley at 195 and senior Tyler Litzin at 285.
Shiprock head coach Ben Frazier said the five district champions along with their teammates did all the right things at the right time.
“It’s a big difference, it’s a big change,” he said. “ The kids deserve everything they’re getting this season; they’re wrestling good and I think like everybody else, we’re peaking at the right time too.”
Finally, the Fort Wingate Bears had nine qualifications for the state tournament. There were no district champions, four runner-ups, three third-place finishes and two finished in fourth place.
Wingate junior Jordan Ashley finished in second place and will lead the Bears with a 31-2 record in the 160-pound weight class in the regular season.
Preliminary and consolation bracket play will take place tomorrow and championships will take place on Saturday.