Shiprock meshing new faces with veteran wrestlers

Navajo Times | Sunnie R. Clahchischiligi Shiprock High School sophomore Zelldan Clark keeps a hold on his opponent as he looks to his coach for instruction during the 2016 Garrison Spencer Memorial Duels held Dec. 16 in Shiprock. Clark is undefeated so far this season.

Navajo Times | Sunnie R. Clahchischiligi
Shiprock High School sophomore Zelldan Clark keeps a hold on his opponent as he looks to his coach for instruction during the 2016 Garrison Spencer Memorial Duels held Dec. 16 in Shiprock. Clark is undefeated so far this season.

SHIPROCK

For the first time in awhile, the Shiprock High School wrestling team finished in one of the top four positions at a meet.

But for the hungry Chiefs that’s not good enough.

With an experienced but still fairly young team, Shiprock coach Ben Frazier said his team is capable of doing more than the fourth-place finish they had in their own 2016 Garrison Spencer Memorial Wrestling Duels held on Jan. 16.

He said his team did well but has the potential to do better.

“We’re not satisfied with where we’re at,” Frazier said. “We still have holes in our game, we still have things to fix. We’re good with what we did, but we still have work to do.”

Some of that work is in their lower weight classes where they welcomed some fresh faces this season.

Frazier said he and his coaches have been pushing the fresh faces and the experienced faces equally.

“We got some kid who came in and are sticking it out more this year,” he said. “We’ve been putting in a lot during practice and pushing them out of their comfort zone.”

Some of the team members who have benefitted from the extra work are Zephaniah Hadley at 182 pounds, Logan Charley at 195, Cauy Ute at 113 and Zelldan Clark at 160.

So far, Clark, who is a sophomore, is undefeated this season.

As a freshman he qualified for state last season but didn’t go as far into the tournament as he would have liked.

He said this year he hopes to change that.

“This year I worked a little harder than I did last year. I was in the mat room this whole summer. I just want to improve on what I didn’t have last year,” Clark said. “I’m very happy with where I’m at right now.”

Categories: Wrestling

About Author

Sunnie R. Clahchischiligi

Sunnie Clahchischiligi has been the sports writer for the Navajo Times since 2008. She has a bachelor’s degree in print journalism from the University of New Mexico. Before joining the Times, she worked at the St. Cloud Times (Minn.), the Albuquerque Journal, the Santa Fe New Mexican, Sports Illustrated Magazine in New York City and the Salt Lake Tribune. She can be reached at sunnie@navajotimes.com.