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KC and Bloomfield look solid at Gallup Duals

Farmington started the season with a strong showing at the Tiger Duals in Los Lunas, earning a spot in the gold bracket

Jake Newby, and Karl Schneider
Farmington Daily Times

FARMINGTON — Two local teams looked up at Piedra Vista's junior varsity squad in the standings today at the conclusion of the Gallup Duals.

Wrestling

PV's JV team won the meet with a 5-0 record, while Kirtland Central finished behind 4-1 Miyamura and with the same 3-1 record as Grants. Broncos coach JJ Sandoval said KC and Grants were set to face off toward the end of the meet, but mutually agreed to call it off to avoid wrestling late into the night.

Bloomfield went 2-2 at the duals, which saw 10 teams compete.

In their head-to-head match, the Broncos topped the Bobcats, thanks to an unusual sequence of circumstances.

The Broncos originally lost 34-33, but Bloomfield had a point deducted for unsportsmanlike conduct when a Bobcat wrestler began to take his singlet straps off while still on the mat immediately following a match. One of the top criteria for breaking a tie, according to the NMAA, is unsportsmanlike conduct penalties, so KC was awarded the 33-32 win over its 5A rival.

Sandoval said his goal for the team was to finish 4-0, but his wrestlers blew some opportunities in their dual with PV's JV team and lost 36-33.

"There were two or three close matches that could have gone either way," Sandoval said. "Their kids did what they needed to do and ended up winning close matches."

Myles Harvey (106 pounds), Ian Thomas (195), Dominique Benally (126), Brandon Silago (152) and Meris Madrid (182) all went undefeated for the Broncos.

Bloomfield, which picked up wins over Miyamura's JV squad and Gallup, had Avery Scott, Michael DeHerrera and Wendell Rightmire (132) go unbeaten on the day. Shoemaker said his team exceeded expectations as a whole, and he also said he was impressed by Rightmire.

"I was really pleased with Wendell because 132 is a pretty decent weight class," Shoemaker said. "He didn't get to go to state with us (last season), so it's nice to see him working hard to turn a corner now."

Scorps start strong at Tiger Duals

The Farmington wrestling team got off to a great start to the season, earning a spot in the gold bracket at the Tiger Duals in Los Lunas today.

“Things went really well for us today. We finished top-four of the 12 teams that were there,” Farmington coach Jesus Mendoza said. “We ended up in the gold bracket and wrestled Cleveland, Manzano and Rio Grande. All three are 6A schools, and we didn’t do too bad.”

Mendoza said he was proud of how the Scorps went after the bigger programs, wrestling aggressively and staying composed.

Dante Norberto (285) led the Scorps’ showing with an undefeated record, going 5-0 on the day.

Along with Norberto, Gavin Blair (170) went 4-1 to lead the Scorps’ effort.

Mendoza also praised the performance of Rashaad Liggins (182), a junior who is in his first year of wrestling.

“His performance and athletic ability is great. He wrestled some great matches today. We’re really excited to be able to work with him, teach him the sport and get him to understand what he needs to do and why. He’s going to be fun to watch and coach.”

Farmington will next wrestle at the Dawg Fight Wrestling Tournament in Dove Creek, Colo., on Dec. 10.

Jake Newby covers sports for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4577.

Karl Schneider is the sports editor for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4648.