Bears battle sickness at tourney
Dolores finishes fourth; Martinez takes top honors
Fighting the flu and several talented teams, the Dolores High School wrestling team performed decently well at the San Juan Basin League Tournament in Dove Creek on Feb. 6.
Leading the way for the Bears was freshman Richard Martinez, who, after winning both of his matches, finished first overall in the 113-pound weight division.
By virtue of his first place finish, Martinez was named to the first-team all-conference team.
Also performing well for the Bears was senior Ethen Upton, who, fighting flu-like symptoms, finished the tournament 1-1 to earn second place in the 182-pound division.
Rounding out the Bears' top finishers was freshman Riley Syra, who, benefiting from a 152-pound weight division that contained only two wrestlers, finished second overall.
As a team, the Bears finished fourth in the six-team tournament behind Norwood, Dove Creek and Ignacio.
"Overall, we wrestled fair," said Bears' head coach Leo Garand, assessing his team's performance. "I didn't have very high expectations because the flu really hit our room hard all week."
Confident that his team will recover in time for the Regional Tournament, which takes place Feb. 14-15 in Grand Junction, Garand expressed hope that several Dolores grapplers will qualify for state.
"We're hoping to get five people to state," Garand said. "We've wrestled real tough the last few days and I feel real confident seeing the way the team is wrestling."
The state tournament will take place in Denver, Feb. 20-22.