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Marquez gets key win for Yuma High against YC as Crims sweep tri-meet
It was the first of what would turn out to be four bouts decided by two or less points between Yuma High and Yuma Catholic on Wednesday.
But after Ernesto Sandigo struck first, Chris Marquez got a reversal and three-point nearfall in the only points he would need to win the 126-pound match between state qualifiers.
The Criminals won three of the four one or two point decisions in a 37-31 win over the Shamrocks, capping a sweep for them at a home tri-meet. The Criminals beat San Luis 59-23, while the Shamrocks were 58-18 winners over the Sidewinders.
The YC-Yuma High dual was the last of the day, but the first time Marquez and Sandigo got on the mat — San Luis forfeited at 126, as they did in five other spots against Yuma Catholic and six other spots against Yuma High.
After Sandigo started the match with a takedown of Marquez, the Yuma High state qualifier scored a quick reversal and nearfall in succession to end the first period up 5-2. Sandigo deferred in the second period and Marquez elected to start on top, and he remained there throughout the scoreless period. Sandigo elected to start from the neutral position in the third, but didn't score a takedown until 12 seconds were left on the clock.
“I just kept going at it,” Marquez said. “My coaches in the corner let me know what to do. I just tried to do a good job.”
The two split a pair of matches earlier this month at the Sid Grande Classic in Wellton. Yuma High coach Jeff Welsing said he was pleased with how Marque didn't give up after an early mistake.
“Chris did what he needed to do,” Welsing said. “He didn't panic. He reversed him for five and stayed in good position. That's what he does.”
Yuma Catholic went into the final two matches needing wins in both to stay alive. But Clayton Smith lost an 11-2 major decision to Jose Morales, despite Morales needing 1:58 to score his first points, a takedown as time nearly expired in the first.
Even though it was over, Shamrock heavyweight Alex Varela scored a pin in 28 seconds against Humberto Cortez. Varela lost his earlier bout to San Luis heavyweight Gustavo Vargas, getting pinned in 4:21. He was hoping to have a chance to lift his team to a victory.
“I wanted to be the main event. I think that's what every heavyweight's main thing is,” Varela said. “Everybody wants to see the big guys go at it.”
Varela is one of many Shamrock wrestlers who also played football. The season wrapped in late November after the Shamrocks won the state championship.
“A lot of us play football, and it's hard to get back into wrestling shape — you know, two different sports,” Varela said. “It's hard for us to get back into shape because we're state champs, and a lot of football players are wrestlers. It feels good we almost beat these guys and next time we're going to bring it.”
Varela said he felt like he should have gotten the win against Vargas as well — that match was tied at 1 before Vargas got the takedown that led to the pin.
The San Luis heavyweight combined with Carlos Urquijo at 220 to give the Sidewinders four pins on the day. Steven Landa at 120 had a technical fall and a pin as the other perfect Sidewinder.
“We're a little short in numbers right now, and we've had some issues with kids coming to practice ... and grades — we're in grade check right now,” San Luis coach Rob Jankowski said. “But the kids I bring, they're tough, they're ready to go. They're committed to it, and I'm happy with the guys we bring.”
The two big guys are a combined 28-5 this year.
“They've been wrestling tough this year, working hard at practice,” Jankowski said. “There a good group to coach, those top two.”
And big is a doubly apt term for Urquijo, who is 6-foot-3 and has a 16-3 record this year.
“You don't see many guys 6-foot-3 wrestling,” Jankowski said. “Usually they're on the basketball team. It's a pleasure to have him out for the wrestling team and he puts other teams in a bad matchup.”
Urquijo said sometimes his size can work against him
“It doesn't help you because they get your legs and you fall harder,” Urquijo said. “There's more to protect in the bottom. So you have to stay lower than the other guy.”
And like Jankowski with his Sidewinders, Welsing said he was pleased with how his Criminals performed.
“We're getting better every day. That's the important thing,” Welsing said. “All I ask is the kids get better and better every day.”
YC coach Derek Beck said he felt like his team should have come away with a win.
“But I feel like that all the time,” Beck said. “If a couple other matches went the other way, we would have been right there. But the way they wrestled, they deserved to win.”