Bears grapplers perform in opener at Flagstaff
They may be small in terms of the number of wrestlers they send to the mat, they may be young as far as age, but rest assured, the Dolores Bears high school wrestling team can wrestle.
Opening their season Dec. 6-7 in Flagstaff at the notoriously difficult Peaks Tournament, the Bears acquitted themselves well, placing three individuals on the podium and several others in the win column.
Leading the way for the Bears was senior Deano Valdez, who, backing up his prediction that his wrestling would be much improved this season, placed second at the Peaks tournament with an 8-2 overall record.
Also wrestling well for the Bears was junior Guy Wallace, who, as a result of his 7-3 overall record, garnered a fourth place finish.
Not to be outdone by the Bears' upperclassmen, freshman Richard Martinez began his high school career with a bang by placing fifth in the tournament with a 7-2 record.
Freshmen Brandon Ward and Tristin Medina also performed well as each finished the tournament with a 5-2 overall record.
"Our freshman performed very well," said Bears' head coach Leo Garand.
As a team, the Bears won 34 of their 52 matches on the day, leaving Garand excited about the early season performance.
"It was an excellent showing overall," said Garland. "We wrestled well against real stiff competition. A couple of state championship teams were there."
Next up for the Bears is the always-difficult Dawg Fight Tournament, which will take place at Dove Creek High School on Dec. 14.
Considering the Bears' recent performance at the Peaks Tournament, there is no reason to believe the Dolores wrestlers will not win their share of matches in Dove Creek.