12/19/2013 4:41:00 PM Team depth helps grapplers win Mars Invite
Othello’s Caleb Villarreal scores back points enroute to a 10-0 victory over Wenatchee’s Logan Todd during the Moses Lake Jamboree Wednesday. Photo by Bob Barrett.
By Bob Barrett Contributing Writer
The Huskie wrestlers kicked off their season at the Moses Lake Jamboree Wednesday and then returned home from Kennewick with a first-place trophy from the Bob Mears Invite Saturday. "The jamboree was an opportunity for us to wrestle someone other than a teammate," Othello coach Ruben Martinez said. "We were able to look at some of the things we have been working on in practice to see if the younger kids particularly are executing properly." At the jamboree, Othello faced Wenatchee and Moses Lake in matches consisting of three, one-minute rounds. Against Wenatchee, the Huskies won 10, lost three and tied one of the bouts. Isaiah Barrera, Alejandro Cardenas, Alec Lauriano, Adrian Flores, Lorenzo Garza, David Freeman, Eleazar Pruneda, Caleb Villarreal, Jesus Montes and Anthony Ruiz all defeated their Panther opponents. Moses Lake proved to be a much tougher opponent as Cardenas, Lauriano, Pruneda and Montes were the only Huskies to earn victories. In a pair of matches against returning Moses Lake state qualifiers, Othello's Montes defeated the Chiefs Easton Castro, 6-4, while Ruiz dropped a 2-0 decision to Moses Lake's Jordan Lacelle. "Our first year kids did a great job and our veterans just picked up from where they left off last year," Martinez said. At the Bob Mars Invite, team depth and the willingness of wrestlers to go up a weight class to help the team build a competitive lineup were the key factors in the Huskie 7.5 point victory over Chiawana and 15 other squads in Kennewick. Isaiah Barrera defeated A.J. Rockwell, of Riverside, 13-8, to claim the 106-pound championship, while Alec Lauriano (126), Manny Martinez (138) and Lorenzo Garza (145) all lost their championship bout to finish in second place for Othello. Alejando Cardenas (113), Caleb Villarreal (170) and Jesus Montes (182) all earned third-place awards, while David Freeman (152) and Abraham Gonzalez (160) finished fourth and Anthony Ruiz (220) finished fifth. "Everyone except Isaiah wrestled up a weight class at Kennewick," Martinez said. "We competed with some varsity and some second kids. We put some first-year kids in five weight classes and we were able to get some points from them, which we needed to win the tournament." A team that is deep enough to get varsity tournament points from their "second" string kids is the kind of squad that may be able to repeat as state champs. Othello's Alejandro Cardenas, who will be second at 113 when Lauriano drops down, finished third at the Mars Invite. Ivan Riojas, who does not normally wrestle varsity, pinned Ethan Wickstrom from Columbia-Burbank to add three team points to the Huskies cause. Self-sacrifice and willingness to wrestle up a weight class also helped Othello at the Mars Invite. David Freeman weighed in at 140 pounds but agreed to go up to 152 and ended up making the semi-final round. "Those three points from Ivan and those points from Freeman, who basically went up two weight classes, were the difference in our winning the team title," Martinez said. The Huskies have a busy schedule with four events this week. Tonight Othello travels to Prosser; Friday, the Huskies host a double dual with Stanwood and Kettle Falls; and Saturday, Othello hosts the annual Leonard Schutte Invite. Tuesday, Dec. 17, Othello will return to CWAC league competition when the West Valley Rams come to Pete Taggares Gym. "Prosser will probably be down a bit as they got a new coach last year and it will take a few years to build the program," Martinez said. "We lost to Stanwood last year right off the bat. They are a good solid team. Kettle Falls has a few tough kids." Friday's dual matches are scheduled for a 5 and 7 p.m. start with Saturday's invite beginning at 10 a.m. Wrestling fans will be able to watch both the Huskie boys and girls wrestle Friday as the girls will be facing Stanwood and Wahluke before traveling to Warden for the Warden Women's Invite Saturday.