Wrestlers off to state tourney in Austin

February 20, 2013

By Mark K. Campbell
The brackets are set and 10 Azle athletes are headed to Austin for the annual state wrestling meet Feb. 21-23.
This year’s format is different for the first time.
Five Lady Hornets – Bernadette Duhan. Montana Stewart, Paige Wolf, Hannah McFarland, and Jess Grubbs – will vie in a southwest Austin venue on the first day, Burger Center.
The quintet of Hornets will contest early at the usual place, Delco Center in the northeast part of Austin. Those five: Tyler Lefan, Chase Latta, Misael Juantos, Nik Gates, and Brett King.
Azle coach Chris Allen said the bracket draw was dependent on how a wrestler finished in the regional event.
“Some of the boys got tougher draws than the girls, but it was because of where we finished,” he said.
But the draw isn’t that important when it all comes to one thing: “If you win four matches in a row, you’re a state champion,” Allen said. Anyway, the bracket draw means little, he noted, since, “Everyone there is tough anyway.”
Of Azle’s 10 qualifiers, five have state experience – Gates, King, Grubbs, Stewart, and McFarland.
“They know what they have to do to medal,” Allen said.
But the coach has high hopes for his first-timers too.
Especially Wolf who is undefeated at 148 pounds at 36-0. “If she keeps working and wrestling like she has been of late, I think we could see her on the award stand,” the coach said.
Wolf will open with a competitor from Huntsville; so will Duhan (29-7 this year) at 102.
Stewart (36-2) will face an Amarillo River Road foe at 128. McFarland (30-4) and Grubbs (31-4) open with El Paso rivals.
The boys tangle with competitors from Dumas, McKinney North, Amarillo Caprock, Lubbock, and Georgetown to kick things off.

Hornet Nik Gates (top), competing in the 182-pound class, is returning to the state wrestling tournament in Austin Feb. 21-23. Photo courtesy Monica Allen

Hornet Nik Gates (top), competing in the 182-pound class, is returning to the state wrestling tournament in Austin Feb. 21-23. Photo courtesy Monica Allen

Tags:

Category: Sports Archived

Comments are closed.