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Local wrestlers place at state

WINDOW ROCK

The wrestling season comes to a close, but not before 16 individuals took home medals. There were three wrestlers from Holbrook High, seven from Winslow High, and six from Monument Valley.

Jason Ramirez ranked high for Holbrook, claiming second place in the D4 – 126 division.

For Winslow, Gage Thomas and Zach Shumway took second place in the D4 – 190 and 215 classes, respectfully. Rudy Gonzalez took third in the 285 class, and for girls’, Elyna Lopez came in third in the 152 class.

Melaine Kescoli came in third in the 185 class for the Monument Valley girls’ division. Joseph Rodriguez was third in the 126 class for the boys, and Matthew Curley came in second in the 106 class.

Clyde McBride said it was a tough season but a good one nevertheless.

“We had one wrestler in the final, and we medaled six,” McBride said. “So, I thought that was a successful year, especially with not wrestling last year and being behind, especially with that matt time, so I’m very pleased with the season.”

Still, McBride said it was one of the most challenging seasons he had to coach. It was coming in from a year with no wrestling season and having to contend with COVID-19 mitigation policies.

When the team was gelling together, they would lose a wrestler due to COVID precautions, and partway through the season, the school shut down due to a rise in cases, cutting into their training schedule.

“I never had anything like it, and I’m just glad it’s over, and we can look to next year,” McBride said.

“It’s been rough, but it’s been good, and I’m just happy to be back at the matt and happy to have the kids wrestling again,” he said. “Not getting that time last year put us a year behind, and I thought the team did a good job overcoming that and making it to state.”

McBride said he is proud of all his wrestlers for working hard and not giving up. He also added that many of them came up through youth wrestling and that early development helped his kids be ready at the high school level.

McBride reported that Curly is a great wrestler, having been in the program since his first year, and despite there being no sports last year, the junior did remarkably well this season. McBride felt Curley could have won state in his class but lost by a few points in the finals. Still, he said Curley can get only better from here.

Likewise, his top-ranked female wrestler Kescoli did great in her class and was able to take third.

His team will remain intact this coming season, but he will have two senior girls who had placed in this year’s competition. Those remaining will have valuable experience that will help them be better prepared for next year’s tournament, especially if the pandemic continues.

Overall, he highlights their skills and teamwork that allowed them to get to state and continue improving.

“We’re already starting to plan a couple of seminars, and we have some plans for a couple of camps this summer and, more importantly, that matt time,” McBride said. “Keeping them on matt and preparing them for next year.”

Full results of the 2021 wrestling tournament can be found on the AIA website.


About The Author

David Smith

David Smith was born and raised in Chinle, Arizona. He graduated from Chinle High School in 2015 and went on to study journalism at Northern Arizona University. He graduated in the spring of 2020 with his bachelors in journalism and a minor in English. He later moved back home where he is now working as sports writer for the Navajo Times. Contact him at david.smith@navajotimes.com

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