The biggest girls wrestling meet of the year in Amarillo before the nitty gritty of the season begins was the perfect marker for area schools this weekend at the Caprock Gym.
In a tournament stretching over two days in which 22 teams scored, two area schools posted top five team finishes to make statements at the 22nd Annual Lady Horns Classic on Saturday.
Dumas had the best showing of the local teams at the tournament, finishing third with 215 points, behind the top two teams, Chatfield, Colo. and Lubbock-Cooper. Host Caprock was fifth with 168.5 points.
Caprock was the site of one of the more competitive tournaments most of the teams have seen this year, which the participants are hoping will reap benefits going into district, region and state meets.
“It felt good finishing third and I feel like the competition keeps getting better every year,” Dumas coach Chris Holzworth said. “We just try to put one foot in front of the other and get our pieces put together for a good team.”
Dumas scored three individual victories Saturday, and no one was more dominant than Emily Loya in the 126-pound Gold bracket.
Loya blew through her competition over two days and never seemed seriously challenged. She won all seven of her matches via pin, and in the championship match, she made almost comically quick work of Chatfield’s Savannah Brehm, scoring a pin in 26 seconds.
“I came into this tournament wanting to make sure every one of my wins was where no one felt they were by accident or by luck,” said Loya, who improved to 39-1 on the season and is ranked No. 1 in the state. “There’s always room for improvement but I’m very satisfied with the outcome of this tournament. I’ve been working really hard and put in extra time, so I think I’m on the right track.”
Last year Loya was fifth in the state and is shooting higher this year.
“It definitely motivated me last year because fifth was not what I wanted,” Loya said. “I just kind of took that and turned it into motivation and it’s helped me a lot.”
Also winning titles for Dumas were Berkley Funderburg in the 107 Gold class and Tessa Cook in 114 Bronze.
Last year Dumas was seventh in the team standings at the Class 5A state meet. Holzworth thinks his team can reach or exceed similar heights this year after that experience.
“There’s things that we need to work on the goal’s still to get better every day,” Holzworth said. “We built (the program) four years ago with five high school girls. (Dumas boys) coach (Clint) Chamblin was a big part of that and he built a junior high program for girls who were interested every year. Now there are 40 in the high school and 40 in the junior high.”
The team that won the 5A state title last year is very familiar to Dumas, as host Caprock is the defending champion. Caprock finished fifth this weekend despite only one girl winning an individual title, Khloe Parrie in the 100-pound bronze.
Coach Chris Allen feels as if his team’s own tournament served as a learning process.
“We’re really young,” Young said. “Last year we won the state title and we also finished second in our own tournament. That tells you how tough it is. We graduated five girls who are wrestling in college, so I see a lot of growth.”
A total of 14 wrestlers from area schools won individual titles across the gold, silver and bronze brackets.
Tascosa boys win Hereford Rumble
Down Highway 60, Texas Panhandle boys’ teams were competing at the Hereford Rumble in one of the bigger tune ups heading into upcoming postseason.
Over the two-day meet that saw 24 teams score, Tascosa made a statement by winning the tournament with 235.5 points to edge Randall, which had 227. Hereford came in fourth with 188.5 points. The Rebels boasted five individual champions on Saturday. Ethan Sims (23-5) won the 113-pound division over Frenship’s Noah Zuniga by a 4-0 decision. Kaden Ford (24-10) took gold in the 126-pound division scoring a 7-1 win over Max Trostle of Caprock. Thomas Pacheco (35-3) took the 132-pound defeating Randall JV’s Jaden Valdez, Noah Santiago (31-6) earned a championship of the 144 with a dominating victory against Lucas Aldrich of Comal Canyon, and Andres Suarez (34-3) beat Logan Corrales of Lubbock Monterey to win the 165-pound title.
Randall was highlighted by University of Wyoming signee, Rylee Davis (16-5), who won the 175-pound title pinning Azariah Martinez of Hereford in 3:21. Teammate Nathaniel Ruiz (30-4) beat Tascosa’s Anthony Smith to win in the 130-pound, and Elijah Pena (15-3) was crowned winner of the 150-weight beating down Timothy Cousineau of Comal Canyon, 11-0. Hereford’s Jose Palacios was the other Amarillo-area champion. Palacios (19-5), a senior, handled Tristan Andrade of West Plains.