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Posted on Feb 10, 2018

Four boys reach wrestling finals

Overcoming plenty of adversity and showing plenty of grit, the Quincy Jacks sent 11 wrestlers on to regionals after a good showing at districts last weekend in Ellensburg.
Four Quincy wrestlers made the district finals in their respective weight classes, and it could have been five, if senior Tanner Bushman had not injured his ankle warming up on the second day of competition.
It could have been six, if Jerry Hodges’ stomach had not decided to continue bugging him as it has for most of the second half of the season. Hodges, seeded No. 4 going into districts had to sit out and finish his senior season in civilian clothes.
Instead, it was just four: Victor Tafoya at 170 lbs., Ray Robinson at 182 lbs., Ruben “Boy” Vargas at 220 lbs., and Devon “The Lynx” Salcedo at 138 lbs. And although all four returned with silver medals instead of gold, it was a good weekend for the Jacks.
“Being in the finals in the CWAC really gives those kids a great shot at going to state,” said Greg Martinez, head coach of the Quincy Jacks’ boys wrestling team. “They proved that they are top-two in our league. Now we beat one guy from the other region and we are on to state.”
In addition to the four finalists going to Spokane for regionals, Jose Avila finished fifth at 182 lbs. and qualified. Nate Ramirez finished fourth at 145 lbs. and qualified.
In addition, the team will take five wrestlers as alternates to East Valley-Spokane, site of the boys’ and the girls’ regional tourney.
Jose Buenrostro, a 113-pounder, Eliseo Valdovinos, a 152-pounder, Salvador Chavarin, a 145-pounder, plus 160-pounder Mackenzi Realme, and 170-pounder Victor Mata all qualified as alternates.
“It’s tough because we don’t want anyone to get injured, but, if something happens, someone gets injured or someone doesn’t make weight, then we can get an alternate in,” Martinez said.
What’s impressive about the batch of alternates is that some of those names wrestled in JV for most of the year.
“Chava wrestled JV for us all year,” Martinez said of Chavarin. “Victor Mata, kudos to him, he was struggling in math and that kept him from competing until the final tournament of the year. His first matches were at the Royal City JV tournament. He got four matches, which is what’s required to get into districts, and was able to earn an alternate berth.”
Martinez said he never would have guessed the team would have five alternates.
“Those guys were one win away from being in the (regional) tournament (outright),” Martinez said.
Prior to districts, Martinez’ goal was to have 10 wrestlers competing at Regionals. He will have six for sure, and maybe up to 11.
“We have 11 guys on the verge of qualifying,” he said. “That’s pretty much our varsity lineup.”
The regional tournament gathers the top eight wrestlers in every weight class from the CWAC and the Greater Spokane League, which includes teams like Cheney, Clarkston, Pullman and both East Valley-Spokane and West Valley-Spokane.
The top four wrestlers qualify for state. Win two matches before you lose two matches, Martinez said, and you’re Tacoma-bound. That’s the team’s mantra for the trip to the Lilac City, Martinez said.
“A good Saturday would be four guys to state,” Martinez said. “If we can find the way to sneak another guy in, that would be a great Saturday for us.”
In 2017, Quincy only had Raul Barajas at state representing the boys’ wrestling team.
The now freshman at Grays Harbor College managed to place in the top eight at the Tacoma Dome.
From the looks of it, the bus will be a lot fuller when it heads west in a week.

By Sebastian Moraga,

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