Six seniors help strengthen and anchor this year's Rock Canyon High School wrestling team.
“We are a small team but our kids are scrappy,” Coach Martin Castro said. “Team strength is spread throughout the weights. We are strong at the 120 to 132 weights plus we have a solid wrestler at 170.”
The Jaguars finished seventh at an eight-team dual tournament Jan. 25 at RCHS. The other teams competing included Littleton, Thomas Jefferson, Del Norte, Wheat Ridge, Cherokee Trail, Valor Christian and tournament champion Pueblo West.
Organizers planned on additional teams but when some dropped out, they revised the format. There were two four-team pools and each team wrestled five dual matches in order to crown a team champion.
Castro said wrestling at Rock Canyon is becoming more popular with each year. The varsity coach said most of his JV wrestlers are first-year wrestlers so they are still learning the sport. He also said Rock Canyon has a small youth wrestling program that hopefully will become the feeder program for the Jaguars in the near future.
The Jaguars has six wrestlers qualify for state last year but all six were seniors so the coach began looking to returning wrestlers and newcomers to fill those spots when practice began in November because just about all his athletes play other sports.
“I don't think we have any athletes who just focus on wrestling,” he said. “We encourage our athletes to participate in as many sports as possible. Some of our kids are three-sport athletes.”
Jaguar Richard Davis is the team's 170-pounder and he has one of the team's best records this season. He said his brothers were wrestlers and he wrestled with them in the basement and sort of got hooked by the sport.
“I started wrestling in middle school and I have just stuck with it,” Davis said. “I guess what I like about wrestling is the freedom to do what you need to do on the mat to dominate your opponent. You make the moves you need to make to win the match and I am all about winning matches.”
He said at 170 pounds he works on speed, technique and leg strength.
“Many of my opponents have stronger upper bodies than I do,” he said. “So, I focus on technique and leg strength to my advantage instead of trying to outmuscle the other guy.”
Davis played football for three seasons and this is his fourth season as a wrestler. It also will be his fourth season playing centerfield for the Jaguar baseball team.
“I have loved baseball since I was a little kid,” he said. “Lately, my favorite sport has been wrestling because it is a one-on-one contest and the outcome is all on you.”