2-4-12 District Wrestling
Defending State Champion Cole Schwartz (right) and Alex Cortez, second place at the District Championships in the 182 pound weight classification took the time for a photo opportunity after the Chelan Team won the District Title.
Photo courtesy Al Camp – Okanogan Chronicle.
Chelan wins District Wrestling Title
State berth hunt gets tougher at Regionals this coming weekend
By Richard Uhlhorn
Nine of Chelan’s wrestlers reached the finals at the District VI Championships handing Coach Jay McGuffin his second District Title. “The team is coming together and all of our work is paying off,” said McGuffin. “We are peaking at the right time.”
Nine Chelan wrestlers reached the finals on Saturday and three champions emerged with Erick Garcia ( lbs.) dominating his opponent from Tonasket 10-1. “Erick is so confident on the mat and in scramble situations, he is going to be hard to beat down the stretch.”
Billie Poppie ( lbs.) won his final match by technical fall, scoring over 15 points on his opponent before the match was stopped. “Billie is in a zone right now. He sees what he wants and takes it,” said McGuffin. Poppie has been tough all year and going into this coming week’s Regionals, he will be aggressive and confident of his ability to win it all. “He physically punishes his opponents until they mentally break down.”
Defending state champion Cole Schwartz continues to dominate his 182 pound classification. Following him closely in that class is teammate Alex Cortez who was slated to wrestle for the championship. “It didn’t make sense to have them wrestle… we all know the outcome and the last thing we wanted was for someone to possibly get hurt.”
Schwartz has been on a mission all wrestling season and that is to break down every wrestler who steps on the mat with him. “Cole is above and beyond any wrestler I’ve ever coached in Chelan,” said McGuffin. “He loves this sport… works harder than anyone else and is a vocal leader of the team. He is also the perfect student.”
Six members of the team placed second at the District Tournament. They included Juan Garcia, Bobby Anderson, Alex Cortez, Asa Schwartz, Jose Aparicio and Luis Garcia.
The match of the night at District was the one between Chelan’s Asa Schwartz and Omak’s Dillon Green. “Asa gave Dillon everything he wanted and more,” said McGuffin. Schwartz fell to Green in a close decision 5-4. “Asa is looking forward to meeting Dillion again.” That will probably happen at the upcoming Regional Tournament and McGuffin feels that Asa will end up winning that war.
Other Chelan wrestlers making the trip to Regionals were Ivan Reyes, Cleider Guillen, Alby Paz and Tali Letyva, all of whom placed third. “All of these guys did a great job coming back through the consolation bracket to place third. They have put themselves in a good position to make it to the Tacoma Dome.”
Julio Vera and Leo Pastor placed fourth and will also represent Chelan at Regionals. Loren Stocker placed fifth and will go to Regionals as an alternate.
“This weekend is a whole new tournament,” said McGuffin. “It is the last road block and the most important Saturday of the year for these wrestlers. They will be ready to go out for every match and lay it on the line, knowing it could be their last one.”
Regionals takes place this coming Saturday, February 11 in Colville with the top four going on to state. Regionals is an 8 person bracket with the top four from each region going up against each other.
Follow Chelan on Facebook for more detailed results at “Chelan Wrestling”