The new year started with what looks like a new tradition for Canyon ISD athletics Monday night at Joe Lombard Gymnasium.
And it was appropriate that in a facility named after the district’s biggest coaching legend that another successful CISD program would show two newer ones how it was done.
At the Canyon ISD Clash to start the area’s 2023 athletic slate, Randall, Canyon and West Plains met in a triangular wrestling meet with their respective boys and girls teams facing each other. Randall’s boys showed why they’re comparable to Lombard’s Lady Eagles when it comes to taking home titles.
Against a relatively new Canyon program and a brand-new West Plains team, Randall scored predictably big victories. Randall’s boys opened the day by winning every match in sweeping West Plains 76-0, then ended the day by routing Canyon 56-24.
“We were out there putting some technique on display for people to see,” said veteran Randall coach David Quirino. “We showed our wrestling on our feet, on our top game and our turns and tilts. On the bottom we were able to get away and get the job done.”
Between the 120 and 175-pound classes, Randall didn’t lose a single individual match. That confirmed where the strength of Randall’s lineup.
“Those kids all won their matches and looked really good,” Quirino said. “They have a lot of confidence and believe in what they do. They believe in the system, and they go out there and put it to work.”
Ironically, the most impressive Randall wrestler might have been the one least familiar with the system. Senior Rylee Davis, who scored a pair of pins at 175 pounds in only 53 seconds, moved to town from Salem, Ore., as his father Strider Davis took the wrestling head coaching job at Wayland Baptist University.
Davis showed enough as a wrestler in Oregon to earn a scholarship from the University of Wyoming, but the move to Texas hasn’t hurt him one bit. After joining the wrestling team late due to his commitment to football, Davis has posted a 10-1 record and figures to contend for a state title.
“It’s good competition but not too much of a difference,” Davis said. “When I went to a hard tournament that’s where I lost and I’m looking to grow from that. I wish I was 11-0 but I’m happy. I got done what I wanted to get done and I felt good and grinded to get the job done.”
Grinding is what Canyon and West Plains did with rather mixed results. Like Randall’s boys, Canyon’s girls won twice, beating Randall 42-24 and West Plains 54-18.
Canyon’s win over Randall was colored by the fact that Randall had to forfeit in five weight classes, but the young program nonetheless is showing progress.
“Being a second-year program, none of our girls wrestled before they got to us,” Canyon girls coach Tyler Frausto said. “Every girl we have is brand new to the sport, but they’ve just been working their tails off and soaking in everything we give them. We came out and got two wins, obviously there’s a lot of forfeits in there but we were able to win some matches when we needed them.”
Canyon’s boys split their matches, ending the evening by beating West Plains 55-21.
West Plains went 0-4 on the day, as would befit a new program and a new school. The girls lost to Randall 30-18 to open the day.
“The biggest thing is just getting these matches and getting mat time,” said Andrew Porras, who coaches the West Plains boys and girls. “Just getting some good quality matches leading up to district is what we’re focusing on. You can learn but it’s tough being a brand-new program when (Randall’s boys) are a top-notch program.”