Young Wrestlers Learning On The Job

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Española’s Edgar Sanchez has the advantage on Los Alamos’ Israel Gellis. Photo by George Morse for the Valley Daily Post

Young Wrestlers Learning On The Job

By George Morse Sports and Outdoors

The Española Valley High School wrestling team, bolstered by four students who attend McCurdy Charter School, competed at a triangular meet against District 2-5A foes Del Norte High School and Los Alamos High School.

McCurdy does not have a wrestling program, so students from there are able to compete for Española Valley. Aaron Altimirano (182 pounds) and Moises Guzman (120 pounds) are freshmen competing for the Sundevils. Beau Martinez (195 pounds) and Joey Fernandez (106 pounds) are eighth-graders. Fernandez did not compete at Los Alamos.

The youthful Sundevils, who have just three experienced wrestlers-all underclassmen-were soundly defeated in the team competition. Sundevils’ Capitan Edgar Sanchez, a junior, won both his matches. He has been wrestling since his freshman year.

Española’s Edgar Sanchez pinned Los Alamos’ Israel Gellis. Photo by George Morse for the Valley Daily Post

“I started just because I wanted to lose a couple of pounds,” Sanchez said. “I liked it and got into it.”

Sanchez is aiming to be District 2-5A champion in his weight class (145 pounds) now that Capital High School’s Jose Tapia has graduated and is now wrestling for George Mason University. Tapia was an undefeated state champion. Sanchez is a leader for the Sundevils.

“I try to get some one-on-one time with everybody on the team during practice,” Sanchez said. “I want everybody to put in the same effort that I am. It took me two years to get to where my record doesn’t suck anymore. I’m always there to support everybody and helping out.”

Sanchez feels that putting in the extra practice time during the summer and attending wrestling camps is the reason he has improved.

“It’s helped me dedicate myself more,” he said. “I want to encourage the team to dedicate themselves.”

Sanchez defeated Del Norte’s Cisco Ortega and Los Alamos’ Israel Gellis to go undefeated at the triangular meet.

Española’s Nicko Pacheco pinned Los Alamos’ Aiden Johnson. Photo by George Morse for the Valley Daily Post

The other two experienced wrestlers for Española are sophomores Nicko Pacheco (132 pounds) and Alejandro Santizo (126 pounds). Pacheco pinned Los Alamos Aiden Johnson and lost to Del Norte’s James Ortega. Santizo won by forfeit against Del Norte and pinned Los Alamos’ Gloria Ramos.

Española’s Alejandro Santizo pinned Los Alamos’ Gloria Ramos. Photo by George Morse for the Valley Daily Post


Española’s Beau Martinez won his match against Del Norte by forfeit.

A forfeit happens when the opposing team does not have a wrestler in that weight class.

Also competing for Española at the triangular meet were sophomore Heavyweight Kalub Romero and freshman Adrian Moya (113 pounds). Senior Heavyweight Sam Garde, in his first season as a wrestler, competes at the junior varsity level.

“’We’re very young,” Española Coach Aaron Salinas said. “If we’re not young, it’s a first-year wrestler.”

Española will be competing at the Aztec Duals Saturday in Aztec.