2.3.12 Chelan Wrestling
Defending State Champion Cole Schwartz and Chelan’s Alex Cortez (right) are in the same weight class which is OK with Coach Jay McGuffin. “Other wrestlers are getting out of this weight class because they don’t want to wrestle Cole,” said McGuffin. “With both Cole and Alex in that allocation we are looking at some serious points… both are tough as nails.”
Chelan wrestlers to grapple for District Honors
By Richard Uhlhorn
The Chelan Goat Wrestling Team won its fourth league title last week and will travel to Omak on Friday, February 3, to enter the post season in a strong position to win it all.
“It was one of our team goals this year,” said Coach Jay McGuffin. “The kids have wrestled really well in the month of January and I am looking forward to a good showing in Omak.”
This is McGuffin’s sixth year as the varsity coach of the Chelan team and while he has coached the team to four league titles, he has captured only one District title. McGuffin hopes that changes tonight and Saturday, February 4.
“We have the firepower to do some damage this weekend,” said McGuffin. The team enters the District Championships with 23 of 26 weight allocations filled.
“My goal is that we wrestle hard… leave everything on the mat… and, get as many kids to regionals as possible.”
Each wrestler who finishes in the top four at Districts qualifies to move on to the Regional Championships which will be held in Colville on Saturday, February 11.
“I’ve enjoyed this season more than any other… it has been one of those years that you don’t want to end.”
His team captains this year are dedicated young wrestlers. Cole Schwartz is the defending state champion. His three counterparts are Billy Poppie, another state participant last year and Alby Paz and Jose Aparicio, both state alternates.
“These guys come in everyday and set the tone of practice,” said McGuffin. “The other wrestlers all look up to them and want to duplicate the work ethic and mentality they bring to the team.”
The team’s overall goal this year is to come home from Matt Classic in the top 4 in state. “We have the talent… we have the mentality to win, and we are in the best shape of our lives.”
All of that talent combined with a little luck will put Chelan on the wrestling map all the way to the State Finals.