Jorge Villasenor (shown) and Cole Schwartz both came home with first place finishes at the Connell Invitational helping Chelan to a fifth place overall finish at the 12 team tournament.
File Photo Richard Uhlhorn
Goats come back from Connell Invitational with some gold
Storm keeps them in Moses Lake for a night
By Richard Uhlhorn
It was a good day for the Chelan Goat wrestling team at the Connell Invitational. Both Cole Schwartz (189 lbs.) and Jorge Villasenor (160 lbs.) brought home gold. “Both Cole and Jorge wrestled with a lot of confidence today,” reported Coach Jay McGuffin. “You could tell they know the system we work with and feel comfortable at all (wrestling) position.”
Coach McGuffin moved Jose Aparicio up to the heavyweight (285 lbs) and Jose was able to wrestle his way to a good third place finish. “When I told Jose Saturday morning that he was wrestling 285, he seemed a little nervous, but I knew he would be competitive,” said McGuffin. “Jose is only 200 pounds, but he is strong and quick. I simply told him to wear the big guys down and good things would happen.”
Alex Cortez (216 lbs.) and Alby Paz (171 lbs.) both came back through their respective consolation bracket to place fourth. “Alby and Alex both had a long day,” said McGuffin. Each wrestler went five matches and both went 4-1. “The consolation bracke really shows coaches how tough a wrestler is because you have to wrestle so many more matches.”
Freshman Justin Buyas (119 lbs.) placed fifth and both Billie Poppie (152 lbs.) and Eric Shannon (125 lbs.) placed sixth at the invitational.
Twelve teams competed at the Connell Invitational and Chelan placed fifth overall. Not a bad outing this early in the season.
The winter storm on Saturday night forced the team to stay in Moses Lake. “I was surprised to hear that we might have to stay in Moses Lake because the weather was so bad between Quincy and Chelan,” said McGuffin. He didn’t believe it could be that bad until his wife, Beth, sent him photos. “It was a safety issue to stay in Moses Lake,” McGuffin said. “I don’t think the wrestlers minded one bit because the hotel had an indoor pool and hot tub.”
In earlier action:
On Saturday, December 4, the team wrestled at the Pit Invite in Omak and Chelan showed up without a full team, but had a fun day competing in its first tournament of the season.
“We have a lot of young kids this year,” said Coach McGuffin. “For a number of them, it was their first high school competition and the mat time is more important than the wins and losses.”
The Chelan Goats had a great opportunity to see what the Caribou Trail League looks like this year with Cascade being the only team not attending out of the CTL. “It was a good chance to see how we stack up to the rest of the league and, as expected, Tonasket and Omak will be the teams to beat come January,” said McGuffin.
Freshman Matt Barnes (112 lbs.) placed third along with Jorge Villasenor (171 lbs.). The lone champion for Chelan was sophomore Alexis Cortez (215 lbs.). “Alexis wrestled a solid match in the finals. He kept the pressure on in the third round when the match was on the line and ended up with a nice 11-6 decision.”
“It was a good day because it lets the coaches know what we need to work on in the room to get ready for our next match.”
The first chance to see the team wrestle at home will be Tuesday evening, December 14, in the Chelan High School gymnasium.