Jacks bring back three medals from state wrestling
The Quincy Jacks boys wrestling team returned from the state tournament with three medals, after earning a sixth place and two seventh places at the Tacoma Dome.
Salvador Chavarin finished in sixth place at 145 lbs., while Ruben Vargas finished seventh at 220 lbs. and Damion Casillas finished seventh at 132 lbs.
The three medals fell just shy of the four head coach Greg Martinez had hoped to bring back home in order to call the 31st Mat Classic a successful one for his team.
Still, the team had earned only one medal in each of the last two Mat Classics, so three is a step up.
“I couldn’t ask for more from my boys,” Martinez said at the end of Quincy’s last match. “We had 14 seniors this year, and a lot of these kids I coached in cross country when they were in junior high, I coach them in the offseason a little bit and then four years of doing this, the highs and the lows: The highs are amazing, the lows are tear-worthy.”
Chavarin had a tournament of epic highs and lows himself, coming back from 11-3 down in the quarterfinal match to pin Jayden Lancaster of Rochester with 19 seconds left and advance to the semifinals. Two consecutive losses after that, including a controversial loss by pin to Orting’s Wyatt Schrader, dropped him to sixth place.
Chavarin went from finishing sixth at districts and not qualifying for state last year to medaling at the Dome.
“Ever since my freshman year, I wanted to get on the wall in the wrestling room; that has always been a dream,” Chavarin said. The wrestling room wall lists all the Quincy wrestlers who have placed at state.
He credited a different mindset for his state berth.
“When I started to realize that the difference between the good and the great wrestlers is the mindset, not what they do in the matches,” he said. “Believing that you can do it and going through with it.”
Vargas, a junior, completed his redemption from last year, when he was ineligible to wrestle at state for disciplinary reasons, by winning his seventh-place match, pinning White River’s Jaysen Jorgensen.
Vargas credited teammates, coaches and one very knowledgeable relative for his medal.
“I could have did better than what I did,” Vargas said. “My coaches kept me in it, my coaches and my teammates. My brother Andy kept pushing me to do better, he works with me and I always listen to what he has to say because he took fourth here at the Tacoma Dome (in 2015).”
Casillas, a senior, finished his prep wrestling career as a winner, defeating Elijah Marquez of Bellingham 11-9 in the match for seventh place. Casillas credited the work he put in during the offseason for his making it to state.
“I devoted a lot of time, and it makes me feel proud of myself,” he said. “It was a tough journey, but it was fun.”
By Sebastian Moraga, firstname.lastname@example.org