Garrison Spencer Memorial

Shiprock's Frazier undefeated at 26-0

By Nicole Baker
Special to the Times

SHIPROCK, Jan 19, 2012

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(Times photo - Paul Natonabah)

Shiprock senior Zane Frazier was named the outstanding heavyweight wrestler at Garrison Spencer Memorial Wrestling Tournament Jan. 14 at Shiprock High. Frazier also won the individual title in 195-pound class.

One year ago, Shiprock chieftain wrestler Zane Frazier was looking to make his mark when he dominated the 189-pound division at the 2010 Garrison Spencer Memorial Wrestling Tournament.

Not only did he get to win the tournament championship at home in front of friends and family, but it was also his first tournament title.

After coming in as runner-up at state in 2010 last year as a junior, Frazier isn't just dominating the competition this year as a senior - he has been steam rolling over them.

With a 26-0 record, Frazier has recorded 25 pins.

"I ask more of myself every year," Frazier said. "Last year, this was the first tournament I had ever won. I really wanted it."

Two of his 25 pins came on Saturday, when he pinned Whitehorse's Yonnie Whitehorse in the semifinals then pinned Newcomb's Travis Allen for the title.

Both of Saturday's pins were under a minute and allowed Frazier to defend his home tournament title at 195 pounds at the 2011 Spencer Memorial.

Frazier was also named outstanding wrestler in the upper weights for the tournament.

Taking Allen down to his back quickly, Frazier said, "I locked my hands, got his neck and knew I had it.

"Coming in here, my coaches told me just to do what I do best," Frazier said. "Wrestle to the best of my abilities and come out with a win. I just have to keep getting better and continue to improve."

Saturday's championship "was very important to me," he said, as a steppingstone to February's state wrestling tournament.

"This is my goal: I want to go to state undefeated and then stay that way the rest of the season," he said.

Frazier has already made headway toward that goal, having already beaten the wrestler that beat him last year at state during a tournament in December. But a possible rematch for the state title is still to come.

"I am looking forward to that rematch at state," Frazier said. "This has been my goal since eighth grade."

Frazier's quest, though, started over 10 years ago when he would follow his cousins Drake Frazier and Keanu Frazier back to their house after school.

"They treated me like a brother," Frazier said. "They were the ones that beat up on me day after day after day. We would go to their house after school and we'd have wrestling matches.

"It toughened me up," he added. "They got me ready for whatever happens on the mat, at school, at home. They got me ready for it."

Friday was a good day for the Chieftains as well as they took second in the duals competition of the tournament. Key injuries, however, were costly as the Chieftains lost to Aztec for the team title.

"We're finally getting it together and getting it going," said Shiprock coach Ben Frazier, Zane Frazier's uncle. "The injuries we got this weekend hurt us. We'll have to see how we heal and fare at district. There are definitely some things we can build on, and there are some things to work on and improve."

Teammate Alex Benally took second at 152 pounds and Chieftain Rayshawn Ben (182) wrestled back to take third.

After winning the duals title on Friday night, the Aztec Tigers went on to dominate the individual competition Saturday, earning eight individual championship titles en route to 210.5 points and Saturday's team championship title.

The Tigers were led by Robert Escojeda at 126 pounds and Rio Escojeda at 138 pounds. Both Escojeda's were named outstanding wrestlers - Robert for the lower weights and Rio for the middle weights.

Also earning titles for the Tigers were James Ritter at 145 pounds by decision, Justis Francisco at 152 pounds by decision, Mark Ritter at 160 pounds by fall, Adam Lucero at 170 pounds by major decision, Austin Wagner at 182 pounds by fall, and heavyweight Marlin Norman by fall.

Miyamura took second with 11 points, behind Brandon Garnenez who won the individual title at 120 pounds by fall.

Newcomb's Landon Yazzie won the title at 220 pounds by fall against Miyamura's Brandon Gray.

Dolores' (Colo.) Deana Valdez won the title by fall at 113 pounds over Aztec's Alex Jones.

Piedra Vista's Vince Ruybalid won the title at 132 pounds by decision over Newcomb's Rashaan McMillan.

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