Aztec wins season-opening dual over Taos 57-20

Tigers pick up four pinfalls during home victory

Jake Newby

FARMINGTON — The Aztec wrestling team lost just three matches in an otherwise successful 57-20, season-opening victory over Taos tonight in a dual at Lillywhite Gym in Aztec.

Aztec's Austin Littlefield attempts to take down Taos' Carlos Espinoza in their 152-pound match on Thursday at Lillywhite Gym in Aztec.

"We're really pleased. The effort was great, the work ethic was great and the attitudes were great," Aztec coach Monte Maxwell said. "It's really nice to get this first match under our belts and get the rust knocked off."

Bella Wells, Brandon Trennepohl, Dominic Dufur, Austin Littlefield and Hunter Medina — who all wrestled on varsity last year — won their respective matches for the Tigers. Wells, Medina, Littlefield and Dufur were victorious via pinfall.

"All our returners did what they were supposed to do and had a good day," Maxwell said.

Aztec's Cody Candelaria, Josiah Griego, Garrett Birzer, Zach Schmidt and Jaxon Hathcock won by forfeit.

The Tigers themselves forfeited the 220-pound match, and lost three others. At 126, Tommy Fletcher dropped a 7-1 decision to defending state champion Diego Valerio.

"Tommy wrestled really tough," Maxwell said of Fletcher. "I'm proud of how he wrestled."

Aztec's Hunter Medina wrestles in the 160-pound class on Thursday at Lillywhite Gym in Aztec.

Dylan Sewell (185), in his first year on varsity, was pinned by Taos' Estevan Valerio.

"He's still learning," Maxwell said of Sewell. "He made a mistake and (Valerio) made him pay for it. He's a good wrestler. That's what good wrestlers do."

Aztec heavyweight Jared O'Toole was pinned in the final match of the night.

Aztec gets right back to work in Friday's Bloomfield Invitational, along with fellow 5A district title hopefuls Bloomfield and Kirtland Central.

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