Anyone who follows the Randall girls wrestling program has to find it hard to believe that it was started six short years ago.
After fighting to start up a girls program, the Lady Raiders have run with their opportunity, boasting five straight District 3-5A championships, coming in second at the Region I-5A meet the past three years, and qualifying multiple wrestlers to the UIL Class 5A state tournament.
“I didn’t see this program blossoming so fast,” Randall wrestling coach David Quirino said. “Coach Scott Tankersley at Bushland did. He told me that we’ll be the state champions soon. I trust him.
“He won eight state girls titles at Caprock. We’re hoping to get that done this weekend, and make history as the first boys and girls team to ever win state in the same year.”
Quirino and his Randall boys team has worked hard to garner the reputation as one of the top programs in the state. They’ve had 29 state boys state champions in Quirino’s 24 years at Randall with hopes to add a few more at this weekend’s upcoming state meet.
The girls are looking to add a couple of more names themselves. As of today, one state championship graces the honor wall in Randall’s wrestling facility.
That was by Madison Seales, an original member of the inaugural Lady Raider team. Seales won her state championship in 2015, and was a runner-up two other times.
But when looking at today’s Randall roster, it’s stacked with experience and loaded with talent led by senior Lily Mills, Skye Bravo, Adriana Ornelas and Ashton Utzman. Add in freshman Jaryn Ortegon, the sister of Johnathon Ortegon on the boys side, Avery Martinez and alternate Shay Esposito, and the Randall girls have a shot at making program history in Cypress.
“It’s been crazy to see this program grow,” said Mills, who wrestles in the 215-pound weight division. “We started the program out with only four girls. You look at it now, and we had almost 30 this year. The way that it has grown and the friendships you acquire is pretty awesome.”
Mills (37-0 this year) is the leader of the Lady Raiders and an ultra competitor when described by Quirino. Mills has all the drive going for her after finishing as a runner-up the past two years.
Mills hopes that by Sunday, she and her teammates are coming home with shiny gold hardware.
“We’re starving to get a state championship as a team,” Mills said. “I’m starving to win a state title. I’m focused and I know what I want. As a team we’re focused, and we know what we want. We want to go down there and take what is ours.”