As we gear up for the Region 1 Regional Tournament, it’s worth taking a moment to reflect on the remarkable action that unfolded at the District 3 5A tournament—a testament to the resilience and skill that has come to define what many consider the toughest district in the state of Texas. District 3 5A has a storied history of producing champions, with a depth of talent so profound that many wrestlers who don’t make it past this stage could easily have found themselves on the podium at the state tournament.
This year’s District 3-5A tournament was a grueling marathon, stretching over 15 hours in a single day, with the finals for the boys not starting until midnight. This demanding schedule underscores not only the athletes’ physical endurance but also their mental toughness, as they competed from dawn well into the night.
The question often arises: What makes District 3-5A so formidable? In my view, it’s a confluence of factors rooted deeply in the culture of the Panhandle. Here, wrestling is not just a sport; it’s a reflection of life. Our kids, much like their families, are imbued with a blue-collar ethos from an early age, learning the value of hard work in the fields of agriculture or after-school jobs, far removed from any semblance of luxury. This environment breeds wrestlers who are grounded, resilient, and unafraid of the hard work required to excel on the mat.
The success of District 3-5A is also a tribute to the exceptional coaching talent in the area. Legends like Johnny Cobb have not only raised champions like Brandon Slay but have also pioneered collegiate wrestling programs at institutions like Wayland Baptist University. Hall of Fame coaches like Coach Quirino from Randall, a product of Tascosa, have built lasting legacies, contributing significantly to the district’s reputation for excellence in wrestling. Joe Stafford a former OU wrestler and coach Herrman at tascosa are a formidable coaching dual with Stafford bringing that D1 knowldege and Herrman being a hall of fame wrestler himself by being the first ever texas uil 4 time state champion. Hall of fame coaches like Paul Jones from Boys Ranch molding young men at the ranch, leading from the front walking the walk, not just talking the talk. Aside of leading these young men coach Jones is a star in the panhandle for fighting UFC stars like Chuck Liddell in his fighting days in the Japanese fighting league Dumas, under the rising leadership of Coach Halzworth, continues to challenge the status quo, fostering a rivalry with Randall that pushes both teams to new heights year after year. The addition of a girls’ program under former head coach Clint Chamblin has rapidly ascended to the top, securing 2 dual state championships in it’s first 5 years as a program in 5a and 4a and further solidifying the district’s dominance.
At its core, District 3-5A thrives due to the unwavering support from parents, the community, and a shared commitment to excellence from the athletes and coaches alike. As we advance to the regional tournament, we extend our congratulations to all wrestlers moving forward from the toughest—and undoubtedly one of the longest—district tournaments in Texas. Their journey is a testament to the enduring spirit of the Panhandle—a place where hard work, resilience, and community converge to create champions.
Here are the results from the 2024 3-5a tournament.
**106 lbs:** #2 Carlos Magallanes of Dumas secured the 1st place in a decisive match against Abraham Camp Cortes of Canyon Randall, affirming his state ranking with a solid victory.
**113 lbs:** The #1 ranked Mikey Ruiz of Canyon Randall lived up to expectations, securing a win over #11 Gavin Alvarado of Amarillo Caprock with a fall, showcasing his dominance in this weight class.
**120 lbs:** In a match that could be deemed an upset, #13 Rylan Jones of Canyon Randall edged out #10 Zalantrice Seale of Amarillo Caprock in an intense sudden victory round, highlighting the unpredictable nature of the sport.