Yoe wrestling sends four to regionals

Driving up to Huntsville on Saturday for the 10-5A district wrestling meet, Yoe head coach Dale Keen was not sure what to expect.  It was the program’s first time to compete at the district level and it was coming against some of the best varsity grapplers at the 5A level.

It didn’t take long for Cameron to make their presence felt as Rico Bolivar pinned his first opponent in the event’s opening match.  That set the tone for things to come as Lady Yoe and Yoemen went on to win a total of 10 matches on the day and had four qualify for the regional tournament this Saturday in Bryan. 

“Going into this, I knew it would be possible to come over here and not win a match,” said Keen.  “That is very possible and there was a little fear.  We did end up finishing winning 10 matches.”

Bolivar won two matches on the day and finished third in the 180-pound division while freshman Domanique Borgas won two contests in the 195-pound class, finishing third.  For the girls, Destiny Merrow won a match to finish fourth in the 119-pound class.  Johnvanique Porter did not win a match, but finished third and will advance to regionals.  McKenzie Salicos also competed for the girls.  The top 4 finishers within any given weight classes are awarded a regional spot.

“I think it was a good experience for us,” said Bolivar on Saturday’s performance.  “Everybody out here is starting to realize exactly what wrestling is and how serious you have to be to compete.  We got plenty of experience and it’s like anything else.”

Alfredo Ramos was over a few pounds on weigh-in and was forced to compete in the JV division.  Ramos proceeded to win five matches and finished third.

“Unfortunately for him, he didn’t make weight for varsity,” said Keen.  “He was a couple of pounds over and that is part of wrestling.  He did end up third in the 160-pound JV division weight class.  Overall, I’m real pleased.”

Team captain Joel Uvalle had to wrestle up a class due to him and Bolivar being at the same weight.  In addition, the senior was dealing with a lingering injury from the previous week’s tournament in Arlington. 

“Joel Uvalle had to move up to 126 because him and Rico were the same weight,” stated Keen.  “On top of that, he injured his shoulder last weekend and he just wasn’t at his best today.  Him, Rico and Alfredo were the ones that started with me last year and stuck with it.”

“The team did good overall,” added Uvalle.  “We’ve all had our ups and downs.  We’ve learned a lot over the years.  We’re seniors and we won’t be here next year, but we have stuff for Coach Keen to teach the other people next year.”

The four advancers will compete in regional competition this Saturday from Bryan High School.  The tournament is expected to get underway at 9:30 a.m. 

“We are going to work hard this week,” said Bolivar.  “We just want to make sure we don’t overdo it because we don’t want anything injured or sore when we go up (to Bryan).  We are going to give it all we can during our practices, go over any flaws we see in our videos and do our best.”