RIO RANCHO — Essiel Carrasco has seen his share of success on the football field and in the boxing ring, but Carrasco was tearing up the wrestling mat last weekend.

Carrasco, a Farmington High senior, finished in second place in the 4A wrestling state tournament at 170 pounds Saturday night at the Santa Ana Star Center.

He fell short in the state title match against Aztec senior Adam Lucero, but Carrasco had plenty to be proud of after battling through a tough bracket to reach the championship.

"I tried my best. It is my senior year and it was my last match. Lucero is a great wrestler with a great shot and good defense. He just outwrestled me," Carrasco said.

Carrasco didn't begin wrestling until his junior year.

He separated his shoulder a week before the District 1-4A tournament and missed out on a chance at state in his very first year in the sport.

In his first full season, Carrasco showed anything is possible with hard work.

"You can't brag about yourself. For me, it was just coaching," Carrasco said. "Coaching got me everything. They got me going and inspired me. I see the coaches come out, and they get paid little money to see guys wrestle. It inspired me to come out, especially coach Cecil (Linnens). He is a great coach."

Farmington High assistant coach Jay Boushee hopes Carrasco inspires more upperclassman with little experience to tryout for wrestling.

"I hope other kids see you don't have to come out as a 7th grader or even as a freshman," Boushee said.


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"You can come out and learn to wrestle and put yourself in a position. It would be nice if the athletes we have like Essiel come out. Instead of sitting around and taking a few months off from their sport, come do something."

Carrasco reached the title match by winning two matches Friday and taking a forfeit victory into the quarterfinals.

Saturday morning, he won his semifinal against Miyamura's Zac Canning in a 4-3 decision.

Carrasco said his second-place finish in wrestling will help fill some of the void left by coming up short of reaching a title game in football, and it something he can be proud of the rest of his life.

"It is going to be a great feeling looking at this medal," Carrasco said. "I came out and wrestled and did my best. You can't have any regrets. I am really going to miss high school ball, but this medal will make up for it."

Three more Scorpions placed at the state tournament.

Senior leader Brandon Padilla took fourth at 126 pounds, falling shy in overtime to Piedra Vista's Ryan Ruybalid in overtime of the third-place match.

"It has been a great four years for Padilla," Boushee said. "He has been a role model in our room every day. There is not a kid who has worked harder. He was a class act every day."

Padilla placed third at 126 pounds as a junior.

Always gracious in defeat, he was congratulatory to Ruybalid after their match, flashing a big smile as he left the mat for the final time.

"He feels accomplished. It has to be disheartening to finish fourth after taking third last year, but he said he wouldn't change anything and he has no regrets," Boushee said. "That sums up his career. No regrets."

Eighth-grade stud Francisco Alvarez was never phased by anything this year, and the bright lights of state couldn't even throw him off course.

Alvarez placed fourth at 132 pounds, sending a message that he will be a force to reckon with for years to come, especially as he gets bigger.

"For him to come in and finish fourth as an eighth grader in undoubtedly one of the tougher weight classes, it is a huge building block," Boushee said. "He didn't even win the Basin Championships as a seventh grader. I really hope the younger kids who have watched him say If he can do it, I have a chance, too.'"

Placing fifth for the Scorpions was 113-pound Cobey Hamblin.

Hamblin lost his first match on Friday, but battled his way back through to win the fifth-place match in one of the toughest weight classes 4A had to offer this year.

"It was great seeing Hamblin get his medal. Now we are going to be seeded everywhere we go with him," Boushee said.