Tsehootsooi eighth-grader dominates Jr. High state wrestling meet

By Quentin Jodie
Navajo Times

WINDOW ROCK, February 7, 2013

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(Courtesy photo)

Tsehootsooi eighth-grader Emmanuel Slinkey poses with his championship poster during the Arizona Jr. High state wrestling tournament.

A s far as most coaches were concerned, he was considered the most dominant wrestler entering last month's Arizona Junior High state wrestling tournament.

But when it was all said and done, he was the most feared wrestler as Tsehootsooi eighth-grader Emmanuel Slinkey pinned six opponents to become the 245-pound state wrestling champion.

"He dominated all of his matches," said Tsehootsooi assistant coach Ramsey Davidson. "Nobody scored any points on him throughout the tournament."

As the tournament's No. 1 seed, Slinkey did not allow an escape or a reversal. But what's most impressive is he only spent 6:42 on the mat during the tournament and finished with a 28-1 overall record.

His longest match went two periods while his shortest match lasted 13 seconds. In the championship round, he pinned No. 6 seed Jordan Arbizo of Morenci.

"He didn't go to his back at all," Davidson said. "He was in control the whole time."

His dominating performance at last month's state meet, which was held on Jan. 25 in Tucson, Ariz., was spurred on by last year's disappointing finish in the finals.

"He knocked out the No. 1 wrestler in the tournament, but in the championship round he got pinned," Davidson said of Slinkey's run last season.

The Window Rock coach said Slinkey had several opportunities to take out Frankie Trujillo of Desert Sky Middle School last year, but he was caught in a headlock and he was eventually pinned.

"That was a good match and he had that kid on his back several times, but he lost the match," he recalled. "I think that helped him because he was more determined to go out on top this year."

With six pins, Slinkey scored 36 of Tsehootsooi's 88 points as the team finished in a two-way tie for 25th place.

At this year's meet, Davidson said they filled 10 of the 17 weight classes with eighth grader Carnelius Nez scoring another 30 points by placing fifth in the 154-pound category.

He went 6-2 at the tournament and finished the year at 38-2.

"He was undefeated going into the tournament," Davidson said.

Nez won his first two matches before he was sent into the consolation round, losing to Keian Anderson of Tortolita by a 5-4 decision in the quarterfinals.

According to Davidson, Nez lost the match due to a judgment call.

"There was about one minute to go in the third period and (Nez) was on top, but he couldn't get his guy turned so with 30 seconds left I told him to let him go and get neutral.

"That's what he did and when the guy turned away Carnelius shot back at him and took him down," he added. "But the ref did not give Carnelius any points for the takedown."

In the ref's explanation, Davidson said his opponent did not have enough time to face him to give him an escape point, thus Nez was not awarded two points for a takedown.

"We tried to argue his case, but it was his call," he said.

Nevertheless, Nez pinned his next two opponents before he got himself in a jam, losing to Happy Aquinaga of Morenci with a fall.

"That kid just overpowered him," Davidson said of Aquina.

In the fifth place match, Nez bounced back with a win over Brody Wainwright of Wilson Middle School.

In other tournament action, Tuba City got a fourth-place effort in the 78-pound division from Shayne Yazzie, a sixth-place finish from Khalil Toledo in the 133-pound class and a sixth-place effort from Cordell Begay in the 93-pound category.

As a team, Tuba City finished in 14th place with 126 points.

Pinon had two wrestlers that medaled with Tyrel Yazzie taking home fourth place honors in the 73-pound weight class while Hartford Charley finish sixth in the 180-pound group.

Matthew Tuni of Kaibeto (78-pound) finished sixth.

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