It was a showdown of eight boys’ teams and eleven girls’ teams as Socorro hosted its Sammy Vivian Invitational on Jan. 15. Pojaque Valley, Cleveland, Taos, St. Michael and Tierra Encantado.
“We’ve had this event every year,” Warriors head coach Joel Partridge said. “We renamed it this year in honor of Coach Sammy Vivian, who started the program with me and several other coaches and introduced wrestling to us. He’s still here and he’s 74 years young. We consider him the godfather of wrestling here in our community.”
After setting up six mats for the various schools, Coach Partridge went into the event optimistic about his team’s chances of winning.
“You know, it’s hard to say,” he said. “We struggled to field a full team due to injury issues. But I think the effort is there, which is most important to me. We plan to go deep into the playoffs and I think our crew is slowly progressing.”
Before players competed one on one, teammates competed against each other. The players ran laps on the gym floor. Las Cruces head coach Kevin Marks was excited to field his team in front of a full stadium.
“Our girls in particular are doing very well,” he said. “Their success last year brought a large group of freshman wrestlers. We had four girls in Cleveland last week who are freshmen wrestlers. You’re still learning. Coming to Socorro will be a good gauge for us going forward.”
The Socorro team was ready for the meeting, seated in their student section. Chailynn Amaro is a Class 126 competitor for Socorro. This was her second tournament of the season.
“Everything is fine at the moment,” she said. “I’ve gotten to the point where I’m walking around with my weight, so I don’t really need to lose anything. Just eat healthy and go to practice. Of course the boys will do good today. We girls just have to believe that we can do well in any match.”
Before the 10:00 a.m. start, Partridge gave a speech in which Sammy Vivian was among the local wrestlers. The visiting teams showed respect for the former coach. Miyamura head coach Nate Sellers expressed his admiration for the event as well as the competition his team would be trying to overcome.
“We’re missing a few mates today and we’re just trying to be safe. If someone has a cold or whatever, we want to make sure the team is okay. But we have several undefeated wrestlers that we bring to Socorro, both boys and girls, and they are guaranteed to fight.
Championship wrestler Trey Partridge didn’t have his best day on the mat with a third-place finish. However, he narrowly won 9-8 in the afternoon game against Cleveland senior Tristan Dodd.
The next Warriors matchup will be on January 25th during the Belen Tournament.
TOP FINISHER SOCORRO:
terell padilla; 113. 4th place.
angel Perez; 126. 1st place.
Joel Partridge Junior; 132. 3rd place.
Patrick Woods; 145. 4th place.
Sean McNeil; 152. 1st place.
Orion Rottman; 182. 1st place.
GUARANTEED SOCORRO STATE PLACE HOLDERS:
Patrick Woods at 145.
Terrell Padillda at 113.
Angel Perez at 126.
Joel Partridge III at 132.
Patrick Woods at 145.
Sean McNeil at 152.
Orion Rottman at 182.