12-3-11 Chelan wrestling
Last year’s state wrestling champion, Cole Schwartz, will see action this coming Tuesday, December 6, when Chelan hosts the Liberty Bell Mountain Lions. Schwartz was unable to wrestle at the Omak tournament because he didn’t have enough practices in after the football season ended. File Photo by Richard Uhlhorn
Wrestlers take sixth out of 12 teams competing in Omak
Report submitted by Coach Jay McGuffin
Chelan wrestlers opened their season at the Omak Pit Invitational. “We traveled a little light due to the fact that the football team had such an outstanding year,” said McGuffin.
The team placed sixth out of 12 teams represented in the tournament which isn’t a bad opening to the season considering that many of the top wrestlers were unable to compete because they didn’t have enough practices in. “We brought a lot of young athletes and our goal was simply to gain mat time,” said McGuffin.
Out of the 13 wrestlers that competed Chelan had one champion. Erick Garcia brought home the gold at 126 pounds. “Erick wrestled well today, but he wasn’t satisfied. To me this means he is very determined to make a statement this year.”
Julio Vera, also a 126 pounder, had to wrestle Erick in the first match which he lost to his teammate, but he was able to work his way through the consolation bracket to take third place. “He didn’t let his loss to Erick detour him from bringing home some hardware,” said McGuffin. “He won his next three matches in convincing order to place and he was happy with that.”
At 160 pounds, senior Anthony Ballard wrestled his way into the finals by pinning both of his opponents in the quarter and semi-finals and then ended up losing a hard fought match to a senior from Warden 9-5. “Anthony hasn’t wrestled for the last couple of years, so he is still getting settled in. I felt very good about his performance today. I expect him to place in many of our tournaments this year.”
McGuffin also congratulated Coach Darren Talley, his coaching staff and all of the players representing Chelan and the school at the highest level. “Your success hasn’t gone unnoticed,” said McGuffin. “In fact, I believe it has simply transferred with each student you coached to the winter sports programs.”
Chelan will finally be at full strength this coming Tuesday, December 6, when they host the Liberty Bell Mountain Lions at 7 p.m. in the Chelan High School gymnasium.