UIL state wrestling loaded with local talent
Arlington Martin boys won their regional meet last week
Euless Trinity sending 10 girls, one in each weight class
Allen is the six-time boys team champion
Among the dozens of Class 6A and 5A competitors — both boys and girls — some area teams have the opportunity to make a run for a team title, too.
Arlington Martin won the 6A Region I meet in El Paso last week, and has eight state qualifiers. It was the fourth straight regional title for Martin, a first for an Arlington ISD school.
Six-time state champion Allen qualified wrestlers in all 14 weight classes.
The Warriors enter state with plenty of firepower, including Quincy Monday and brother Kennedy Monday, both returning state champions. Dylanger Potter, 145 pounds, is 41-3 and placed third last year.
Jose Taylor (160) is coming off a regional title after a disappointing season last year in which he had to default at the state meet because of a serious back injury. Taylor had nabbed a state championship in his sophomore year.
Euless Trinity advanced five boys out of the Region II tournament at Allen, but added qualifiers in each of the 10 girls’ brackets.
Moving on to the state meet for Trinity’s boys were Benjamin Bennett (126), 36-2; Alfredo Benevidez (132) 42-6; Jadin Winfrey (145), 44-6; Job Ayala, (170), 45-2; and Keaton Fanning (182), 32-19.
The girls won the team title, the boys placed third.
“It was the second year in a row for us to take all 10 girls to regionals and state,” Trinity coach Travis Clark said. “We’re the only team in the state to do that.”
Shift of power
In recent times, the strength of area wrestling has been centered in the Arlington ISD.
A shift of power now seems to favor Northeast Tarrant County.
Keller Timber Creek (six), Keller Central (three), Keller Fossil Ridge (three) and Keller High all have state tournament qualifiers.
Central’s Blaine Martinez is the favorite to take the 132-pound division after finishing third last year at 120. Jacob Hart has been looking strong, too, at 126.
“This year for state, I feel way more confident than I ever have,” Martinez said. “Going into the state tournament seeded No. 1 overall has motivated me to give 100 percent every practice and earn the top spot on the podium.”
Bryanna Perkins, Central’s 185-pound girls regional champ, has a 35-1 record. Timber Creek’s two top wrestlers, Jamie Paterson (126) and Austin Fox (152) have been wrestling very well.
“Jamie has a great shot at making some noise at the state tournament,” Timber Creek coach Craig Roark said.
Keller’s Derek Stair at 195 with a 34-3 record will wrestle in a bracket with no returning state placers.
Grapevine’s Brian Andrews (285 pounds) will be seeking his second straight state championship in 5A, while Keller Timber Creek’s Rachel Bridges (215) will do the same in 6A.
Both juniors, Andrews and Bridges are favorites to repeat in their respective heavyweight brackets.
Andrews (32-1) counts his only setback to the 6A returning state champion, Hebron’s Jerhett Lee. But Andrews also beat Lee at the Grapevine Duals. Andrews won gold at last year at 195 pounds.
Bridges (29-0) has not given up a single point in a match this season.
Saginaw Chisholm Trail has seven competitors at state: Estefani Vargas, Sydney Dawson, Sierra Condon, Katy Burtsell, Dillon Thomas, Jay Gonzales and Kha’lil Holloway. Chisholm Trail wrestling coach Abel Camacho was recently named a regional coach of the year.
Saginaw is sending two: Briana Tyrell and Jackie McNichols, as is Saginaw Boswell: Carter Dorsett and Rejay Ioanis.
▪ Southlake Carroll is sending six wrestlers to state.
▪ In 5A, Azle has six boys and five girls that qualified.
▪ Fort Worth Carter-Riverside will send five boys and two girls.
UIL State Wrestling Meet
Berry Center, Houston
Friday: 8:30 a.m.-9 p.m.
Saturday: 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m.