By BRETT MARSHALL
The Garden City High School wrestling team went 4-1 on the first day of the Amarillo, Texas Raider Duals to open its 2013-14 regular season.
The only blemish on an otherwise successful first day of the season came when the Buffaloes lost to Tascosa High School, 42-37, in a match where they had to forfeit the 106-pound division due to Efrain Sanchez failing to make weight. All of his 106-pound matches were forfeited.
It also didn't help when freshman Brandon Derryberry, who had defeated senior Randall Long in Tuesday's challenge matches to make the varsity roster, also came in over his weight limit. That caused the Buffs to forfeit all of those 160-pound matches, thus giving away 12 points in each match. Long accompanied the team and was able to wrestle exhibition matches that did not count toward the team score.
In their dual match victories, Garden City defeated Amarillo Caprock, 41-27, routed Tucumcari, N.M., 70-6, manhandled Borger, Texas, 66-18 and closed out the five-match day with a convincing 49-19 victory over Dumas, Texas.
For the most part, head coach Carlos Prieto was pleased with his team's performance; but nonetheless the Buffs now have to get ready for a tough semifinal match against host Randall, which was slated to get under way at 9 a.m. today.
For the team that is the defending Kansas Class 6A champions, Prieto, beginning his second year, had a number of expected bright spots, but also saw some of his newcomers struggle at various times during the opening day.
"I thought as the day progressed, and we got more matches, the kids wrestled better and improved, and that's what you'd like to see," Prieto said.
Prieto's two defending state champions — son Michael Prieto at 120 pounds and 138-pounder Tevin Briscoe — won all five of their respective matches. Prieto was impressive in winning four of those matches by falls and the other by a 15-point technical fall. Briscoe was nearly as impressive, securing two falls, a major decision and two technical fall victories.
"Tascosa has a good team, but when you give away two matches and 12 points, it just makes things that much harder," Prieto said. "We learned a lot today, and I expect that we'll come out tomorrow and battle hard."
Seniors Chris Adler with five wins, all by falls, at 145 pounds, and Sammy Reyes with four wins by fall and a decision, led the Buffs' rock solid veteran wrestlers.
Freshman Jesse Nunez also had a successful debut for the Buffs in the 152-pound division, finishing the day at 5-0, getting two falls, one technical fall, one decision and a forfeit. Matt Marez, at 170 pounds, replaced Zeke Herrera, who also failed to make weight, and proceeded to record three falls, and got a forfeit while suffering one loss.
In the other team semifinal dual scheduled for today, it was to be Tascosa facing Amarillo High. The two winners will meet for the championship.
See results, Scoreboard, Page D2.