By BRETT MARSHALL
The Garden City High School wrestling team successfully opened its first day of competition at the Amarillo, Texas, Randall Duals by easily sweeping its four matches.
The Buffaloes, ranked No. 1 in Class 6A, dominated their four opponents and now move into today's semifinals, which were slated to begin at 11:30 a.m. against Bushland, Texas. In the other semifinal, it will be Amarillo High going against Caprock High.
Garden City opened with an 84-0 whitewash of Borger, Texas, and followed it with a 61-6 win over Dumas, Texas; 76-6 over Hereford, Texas; and 75-0 over Amarillo Palo Duro.
"I thought we wrestled better as the day went along," said new coach Carlos Prieto. "We had a little bit of sluggishness, but that's probably because we were on the bus at 5 a.m. and had a long ride."
Almost every Buffs' wrestler posted a perfect record, but Prieto said he was most pleased with the team's conditioning.
"Four matches on the first day will test your physical and mental conditioning, and I thought the boys really handled it well," Prieto said. "I was pleased with their stamina. What I also saw was that they were doing the techniques that we had been working on the last couple of weeks. I wouldn't call it an 'A' performance, but it was certainly a solid 'B'."
With a blend of veterans, including defending state champion AJ Hurtado at 138 pounds, Prieto said his freshmen newcomers were especially impressive.
"I thought Alec Castillo (126) stood out and got better as the day went on," Prieto said. "We were able to talk about different things, things to work on and he just really listened."
Prieto said he was also happy with freshman heavyweight Aaron Lozano, despite the fact he suffered one loss of the four matches.
"Anytime you're a freshman heavyweight, you're likely going to be going against upperclassmen and I thought Aaron really stepped in and performed well," Prieto said. "He just had some good, solid matches."
Prieto's freshman son, Michael (106), also posted a 4-0 record during the day. All in all, Efrain Sanchez (113), Matt Urrutia (120), Tevin Briscoe (132), Trevor Kennedy (145), Chris Adler (152), Zac Finch (160), Anthony Gardner (170), Juan Carlos Rodriguez (182), Sam Reyes (195) and Samson Aldaco (220) all competed well, the Buffs' coach said.
"We'll have to be better on Saturday, but I was encouraged with the way the boys competed," Prieto said. "There were just a lot of positives. I thought Matt Urrutia was especially strong considering he missed all of last season."
See results in Scoreboard, Page D2.