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Sports briefs of January 4, 2018

by David Tesitor

Area On the Mat rankings

DENVER — While there have been no matches since before the Christmas break, the On the Mat Rankings were recently released with several notable changes from the previous week. According to Tim Yount, ”I know, the team rankings in some places are going to shock you but…note that we still have many kids out because of grades, injuries, etc. When those athletes get back in their respective line-ups, things will shift considerably. Kids have bad weekends.”

After dropping out of the Top 10 a week before the midseason tournaments ended, the John Mall Panthers jumped to #7 on 2A before the January tournaments begin. The Panthers will be put to the test this weekend as they travel to one of the elite tournaments in New Mexico at Rio Rancho. There, they will meet athletes from New Mexico, Texas, and Oklahoma, many of whom are state champions from last season.

Jumping back into the #1 position, now at 132 pounds, is Wesley “AJ” Van Matre. Five other Panthers made the cut among the state top ranked. At 106 pounds is Dale “DJ” Van Matre at #12. Travis Vialpando is #9 at 113 pounds; Anthony Aldretti is #6 at 138; Trystan Estrada # 7 at 152, and Dylan Crump is ranked #6 in the heavyweight class.

The Trinidad Miners have five wrestlers who are ranked. At 106 is Alberto Felthager ranked #12, Guillermo Felthager is #6 at 113 pounds; Dylan Armillo is #13 at 126 pounds, and Jesus Diaz is #11 at 170. New to the list is Caleb Armillo at 220 who is #14.

Miners to participate at Savage tournament

LAMAR — The Trinidad Miners will be in Lamar on Saturday to compete at the John Savage Tournament, looking to bring home the team title as they compete against sixteen registered teams, mostly from the 2A class. The tournament will be a warm up for their upcoming events, which will include the Florence Invitational next weekend against 3A and 4A schools and the Gene Gagliardi Tournament they will host on January 19 before the league tournaments commence. The Miners should be able to place wrestlers in all weight classes which will strengthen their quest for their first tournament title of the season.

The team competed last night in a dual against Las Vegas (NM). Results will be reported in next week’s edition of the WJ.

Crunch time

HUERFANO, LAS ANIMAS, COLFAX COUNTY — As the second half of the winter sports season begins, we the fans are becoming keenly aware of where our favorite teams stand. In basketball, we’re excited that the Hoehne boys are fifth in the state in 2A with a 7-1 record and the Lady Mustangs of Kim/Branson are second in the state in 1A. The La Veta girls are ranked twelfth in 1A. With area teams in the throes of league action and the pigtails only five weeks away, every win is a must, and position and placement will determine post-season play. Many of our athletes are atop the leader boards giving it their all.

On the mats, the Panthers are in a solid position to send every wrestler to state as long as they are healthy. They have five top-10 grapplers and are seventh in the state. Trinidad has five ranked wrestlers among a slate of competitive 3A schools. Walsenburg and Trinidad will have one final opportunity to square off on the circle mat when Trinidad hosts their Gagliardi tournament in two weeks, the last opportunity for fans to see athletes from the two schools compete.

As we enter into the final weeks, action will be fast and furious, dreams will be made, hopes dashed, and the thrill of victory and agony of defeat will echo throughout local gyms. There is no greater thrill for these young men and women than to display their talents for the home crowd. Note: Be it on the hardwoods or on the mat, we owe it to our sons and daughters to go to the gym and cheer on the home team. As a writer who attends many events, it is a crime to not see the stands filled to the rafters. You have plenty to cheer about.

Back to the hardwood

HUERFANO, LAS ANIMAS, COLFAX COUNTIES — As athletes return to school this week, sports once again takes center stage as many schools gear up for league action. There is a full slate of games across the three counties. Games begin tonight and continue throughout the week. Check the schedule to see when your favorite team is in action. Games are both the boys and girls, unless otherwise noted. Times notes include the first varsity games.

January 4

Aguilar @ La Veta 6 pm (boys only)

Trinidad @ Centauri 5:30 pm

January 5

Swink @ John Mall 4 pm

Trinidad @ St Mary (Colo. Springs) 5 pm

Manzanola @ Primero (boys) 3 pm

Wiley @ Kim/ Branson 5 pm January 6

Kim/Branson vs Antonito (At TSJC) 5 pm

Raton @ Maxwell (boys) 5 pm

La Veta @ Cheraw (JH, HS)

TBA Trinidad @ St Mary (Colo. Springs) 5 pm

January 9

Raton @ Springer 4 pm

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