Cole Schwartz helps Coach Jay McGuffin demonstrate a move to put an opponent on his back for points during a wrestling match to his 30 strong team.
Chelan Goats take to the mat
Start wrestling season against Omak
By Richard Uhlhorn
Chelan’s Wresting Team gets underway on Saturday, December 4, when they travel to Omak for their first league match against the Omak Pioneers.
Coach Jay McGuffin tells GoLakeChelan that he has 30 young wrestlers out for the season. “We’ve got good numbers,” said McGuffin. “Above 140 pounds we should be at the top of the league… under 140 we have all new faces.”
“My expectations are high,” stated McGuffin. “It’s going to take moves on the feet, bottom and top, and once they have the basics down, it is just practice.”
McGuffin has four freshman starting on varsity and one junior starter. At 140 pounds, Eric Jiminez will be hitting the mat. Jiminez wrestled well last year and McGuffin is hoping he will have another excellent year. “We are still figuring out the 145 pound class.”
Looking good in practice at 152 pounds is Billie Poppie and at 160 pounds, the Goats have two wrestlers vying for the varsity position. Captain Jorge Villasenor and Jonathon Santos. At 171 pounds, Alby Paz will step onto the mat for the first time in high school. “He didn’t play football because he wanted to be ready for wrestling,” said McGuffin. “I’m excited to see him wrestle.”
At 189 it will be Cole Schwartz with Arnie Lopez vying for that slot. McGuffin sees Schwartz as one of the stronger contenders for a state berth this year. At 215, Alex Cortez should have an immediate impact along with Jose Aparicio. “We don’t have a heavyweight this year.”
Below 140, it will be up to the new wrestlers to give Chelan some power, but most have come up through Chelan’s youth wrestling program and should put on a good show.
McGuffin has three assistant coaches and four or five volunteers helping out this year. For the second year in a row, physicians assistant Craig Elsner is helping with practice and making sure the wrestlers are within the legal weight limits. Hydration testing before competing is now required and wrestlers can only go down to 7 percent body fat. “That’s the lowest they can go.”
In the end, it all comes down to the eventual district and regional meets for each individual. That’s where the rubber meets the mat for qualifying for the state tournament.