2-12-11 Regional Wrestling
Congratulations to Coach Jay McGuffin and all of his assistants. They have put together a powerhouse of wrestlers this season and will be taking 10 to the incredible Mat Classic on Friday.
Chelan sends 10 to state Mat Classic this weekend
Six of the ten automatically in – four go as alternates
By Richard Uhlhorn
“Someone asked me if there were any disappointments this weekend and I couldn’t think of a single one,” reported Coach Jay McGuffin. “I’m really happy with how we keep getting better and better as the season progresses with it all culminating this coming weekend, I think it will be a weekend I’ll never forget.”
The Chelan Goats put together some of its best wrestling on Saturday at the Regional Wrestling Tournament in Tonasket, placing fourth over all and only one point out of third.
Two Chelan wrestlers made the finals in Tonasket. Billie Poppie (152 lbs.) had to beat out teammate Jorge Villasenor in the semi-finals to make it into the finals. “While he would be considered our No. 2 guy at this weight, I was not surprised with the outcome,” said McGuffin. “After Billies first match where he dominated his opponent, I told him that he seemed pretty focused. His response was, ‘You have no idea.’ Right then I knew Jorge might have his hands full.”
Once again, Dillon Green and Cole Schwartz (189 lbs) had to go head to head. As of February 7, Cole was ranked second in the state and Dillon was ranked sixth. Last year Dillon finished eighth in the state and is one tough wrestler as a junior.
“Cole got his work done,” said McGuffin. “He missed a late takedown at the end of the first round because time ran out. In the second round, Cole rode Dillon out for two minutes and in the third he got an escape and two point take down to win the Regional tournament 3-0.”
“Cole is wrestling on a different level right now,” said McGuffin. “He is physically dominating opponents with his endurance and strength, while mentally breaking them down with his will to win.”
Freshman Matt Barnes (112 lbs.) is on his way to his first State appearance. “Matt wrestled with confidence on Saturday. You could tell he wasn’t ready to turn his gear in yet,” said McGuffin.
“This will be a great experience for Matt and the rest of the guys who will be back next year… wow, nine out of 10 will be returning next year.”
Arnie Lopez (189 lbs.) will be making his first trip to the State tournament. He is Chelan’s second guy behind Cole Schwartz at that weight. McGuffin is proud to be taking him to the Mat Classic. “Arnie has overcome a lot of adversity. I wish everyone could have seen his face after winning a do or die match to make it… it was priceless.”
Sophomore Alex Cortez will be making his first trip to the tournament as well. Alex place third at the Regional Tournament. . “The one thing that sticks about Alex is his calm confidence. Alex really believes that he can wrestle anyone, and beat anyone, so I think that has to factor in to why he has been so successful at such a young age,” remarked McGuffin.
Jorge Villasenor will be attending Mat Classic at 152 pounds also after placing third at Regionals. “Jorge is going to surprise some people this coming weekend. That is all I will say right now,” said McGuffin.
Also attending as alternates to the state tournament and experiencing the greatest state wrestling tournament in the nation is Justin Buyas, Bobby Anderson, Alby Paz, and Jose Aparicio.
You can follow the tournament at washingtonwrestlingreport.com.