2012-13 Wrestling Report
Team Captain Erick Garcia took second place at the State Wrestling Tournament last year and is looking forward to winning the title this year. File Photo Richard Uhlhorn.
Chelan wrestlers showing strong this season
by Richard Uhlhorn
I caught up with Chelan Wrestling Coach Jay McGuffin at the Holiday Basketball Tournament over the Christmas break and he is feeling very, very upbeat about his wrestling team this year.
The team has been busy with out of town matches and won’t see action in Chelan until Saturday, January 19 against Tonasket.
“We finally beat Warden,” said McGuffin. Warden consistently has a good wrestling program. “They are a little down this year and this is only the second time we’ve beaten them in the last seven years. It’s a pretty good feeling.”
From the Warden match, McGuffin wrote that he was able to qualify seven wrestlers into the Tri-State ‘Best of the West’ Tournament in Idaho. Those wrestlers were Angel Hernandez, Erick Garcia, Juan Garcia, Chris Truini, Asa Schwartz, Alex Cortez and Luis Garcia.
“I’m pretty excited about the rest of January,” said McGuffin. “I think a lot about the possibility of what we can accomplish.” Last year, McGuffin’s team ended up in second place as a team at Mat Classic. This year, he’s hoping to take it all. “I would love to bring home a first place trophy from Tacoma,” he said.
He is very pleased with his team leaders, Erick Garcia, Alex Cortez, Asa Schwartz and Luis Garcia. “They are really keeping the team motivated and working hard and it is showing on the mat.”
McGuffin likes to challenge his team early in the season by putting them up against the best teams in the state.
On December 8th, the team traveled to Granger to wrestle against the top two team in the state. “We recently got into this tournament to get a look at Granger and Zillah,” said McGuffin. “They are both tough this year, but overall we had a good showing and think it will be an exciting state tournament in February.”
The Goats took 13 wrestlers to the Granger meet and every one of them made it into the placing round. Four wrestlers made it to the finals with Erick Garcia emerging as the champion at 138 pounds, Chris Truini (145 lbs.) and Alex Cortez (195 lbs) both placed second and Asa Schwartz (220 lbs.) also won first place.
At 106 pounds, Angel Hernandez place third. At 126 pounds, Justin Buyas placed fourth. Juan Garcia (152 lbs.) placed third and Carlos Montes placed fourth as a heavyweight.
Ivan Reyes was fifth at 126 pounds and Julian Buyas was sixth at 132 pounds. At 145 pounds, Victor Flores placed sixth and Jose Ruiz placed fifth at 160 pounds.
As a team, Chelan placed third. “We wrestled hard and look forward to improving over the next couple of months to make February interesting,” said McGuffin.
On December 11, the team defeated Okanogan by a score of 59-18.
On December 1, the team went to its first tournament of the season in Omak. “I like the Omak Tournament because they do a good job of getting all of our athletes a match and we get to see everyone in the Caribou Trail League.”
Overall it was a great day for the Goats who placed first as a team and had 13 wrestlers place in the top four. "I am happy with how we performed today as a team this early in the season.
We have a ways to go, it's a long season, and it's a tough December with a lot of high quality competition."
The team produced three champions for the day and put seven in the finals. The champions included Chris Truini (140 lbs.), Alex Cortez (195 lbs.) and Luis Garcia (Heavy weight). Coming in second on the day were Julian Buyas (140 lbs.), Erick Garcia (138 lbs.), Juan Garcia (160 lbs.) and Asa Schwartz (220 lbs.).
Placing third in the tournament were Justin Buyas (126 lbs.), Julio Vera (132 lbs.) and Hector Avila (225 lbs.). Placing fourth were Ivan Reyes (126 lbs.) and Saul Garcia (160 lbs.).
This Thursday, January 10, the team travels to Cashmere to take on the Bulldogs. From there they will travel to the Rainier Tournament in Seattle on Saturday.
The first home match will be on January 19 against Tonasket.