Experience may be lacking, but rest assured, there is no shortage of intensity within the recently revived Mancos High School wrestling program.
MANCOS OPENS WITH TOUGH DUAL MATCHUPS
Opening their season on Dec. 5 with duals against Montezuma-Cortez High School and Dove Creek High School, Bluejays wrestlers fed off the energy of fiery first-year head coach Grant Hobbs, yet were technically outclassed, losing both duals by convincing margins.
Highlighting the matchup against Montezuma-Cortez was the wrestling of junior Rudy Archuleta, who scrapped his way to a rare Mancos win.
Things did not go as well for Archuleta against Dove Creek as he and the rest of his Bluejays' teammates were shut out of the win column.
"The matches against Dove Creek and Montezuma-Cortez were difficult," explained Hobbs. "We weren't originally scheduled to compete against the larger schools. It was a valuable experience though."
WELL IN ROUND ROBIN
Wrestling against junior varsity teams from Aztec, Farmington, Kirtland, Bloomfield and Pagosa Springs at the Aztec Round Robin on Dec. 7, several Bluejays wrestlers performed well.
Chief among those was Archuleta, who took first place in the event.
"Right out of the gates, the kid is shining," said Hobbs of Archuleta. "He has a lot to learn and a lot to improve on, but he's hard nosed and works hard in practice."
Also wrestling well in Aztec was freshman Hunter Kokcourek, who went 3-2 on the day.
Other Bluejays wrestlers who competed in Aztec were sophomore Andrew Morgan (1-2), sophomore Austin Howerton (0-3), senior Magellen Layva (0-2), and freshman Andre Payne (0-2).
"Overall, we made huge improvements," said Hobbs. "These guys are working really hard in practice. We may not have been the most technical team there, but we were mentally tough and in shape."
Next up for the Bluejays will be tough matchups at the Dove Creek tournament on Dec. 14.