Saturday, August 24, 2019
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PioneerWrestling2019TeamThe Sharyland Pioneer boys and girls wrestling programs entered last week’s District 16-5A Tournament with one goal in mind: dominate.

After two days of grinding and grueling competition, the Diamondbacks and Lady Diamondbacks got the job done as they ended the day raising gold, sweeping both the Boys and Girls District 16-5A Championships for the first time in program history.

“I have never been involved in something like what happened last week in my entire coaching career, kids just stepped up,” said Sharyland Pioneer Head Wrestling Coach Richard Eckley. “It’s like they had an extra heartbeat. They did things I didn’t even think possible, they just refused to lose. I saw relentlessness, saw kids that wanted to get their pin in order to help their team win. I saw kids, they didn’t want to just win, they wanted to dominate.”

The Sharyland Pioneer boys wrestling team established themselves as a force early and often at the district tourney finishing in first place with 250 points, 52 more than second place. Their motivation to dominate came from two weeks earlier at the 16-5A District Duals where things didn’t go their way. The Diamondbacks didn’t let it get to them, however, they let it drive them all the way to a district championship.

“We wanted to get first at Duals, but we ended up getting third, so in our bye week, we wanted to go off; we were hungry for it,” said Manny Almanza, a four-year letterman. “Coming into district week, we just wanted it more than anybody else did.”

The boys wrestling team had four individual district champions who took first place in their respective weight classes in Angel Avila (120), Jose Rodriguez (145), Angel Resio (152) and Ethan Garza (220). The Diamondbacks finished with 11 boy athletes qualifying and advancing to the regional tournament next week in Austin.

Garza, a junior, has qualified for regionals in each of his first three years on the mat. With Pioneer sending 16 total wrestlers to this week’s tourney, he’s happy to have some back up as he shoots to make it another step further.

“It feels pretty great because you know your team has your back and at the end of the day you still have one another,” Garza said. “This year I feel more confident, more determined and more willing to go compete. I feel that I’ve got the experience that I think I need to be successful.”

As for the Lady Diamondbacks, they dominated when the lights got the brightest--in the medal round. The Sharyland Pioneer girls wrestling team was trailing Valley View in points, but big performances on the big stage from five wrestlers propelled the Lady Diamondbacks to capture their first district championship in program history.

Sophomore Alejandra Briere-Segovia, a large part of Sharyland Pioneer’s historic success, was crowned district champ in the 102-pound weight class and received awards for the Most Outstanding Wrestler and Most Pins at the 16-5A Tournament.

“It was really empowering and it really gave me a big boost of confidence so I can head into regionals and hopefully place first, not just third or fourth, so I can really go out and dominate for state,” Briere-Segovia said.

Emily Trevino and Camila Flores also brought home district titles in the 119 and 215-pound weight classes, while senior Alejandra Roman finished second at 138 but earned Newcomer of the Year honors for her performance.

“I was nervous because it was my first time going to the wrestling district tournament and it turned out amazing,” Roman said. “It was unexpected, but it felt great.”

Now, it’s on to Regionals in Austin this week for the Sharyland Pioneer boys and girls wrestling teams as they send 16 wrestlers combined, the most in school history.

“It’s just going out there with the mindset that you’re here to wrestle, you’re not here to make friends, well at least on the mat,” Briere-Segovia said. “On the mat, it’s your time, nobody around you except for your coach and that other person. If you have that almost tunnel-vision, then you can really go out there and focus.”

Almanza, a senior and second place finisher in 160, has battled through adversity all season long, from dropping down a weight class to shoulder injuries to stitches in his forehead after getting knocked out. He’s determined to finish strong in his last run as a high school wrestler.

“My record is like 20-18 when my record was 35-9 last year,” Almanza said. “The setbacks have been there, it shows. Going into regionals, I have to find my mindset to where I know I can do my best and be the best wrestler I can.”

Big 7 schools are sending 71 total wrestlers to compete at this weekend’s Regional Tournament. The Class 5A Region IV Tournament will be held at the AISD Delco Activity Center in Austin, with the Class 6A Region IV Tournament at Littleton Gymnasium in San Antonio.

Sharyland Pioneer Wrestling Regional Qualifiers
Girls - 102 - 1st Alejandra Briere-Segovia; 119 - 1st Emily Trevino; 128 - 3rd Sara Neal; 138 - 2nd Alejandra Roman; 215 - 1st Camila Flores.

Boys - 106 - 2nd Diego Serna; 113 - 3rd Kenneth Briere-Segovia; 120 - 1st Angel Avila; 132 - 4th Joseph Ramirez; 145 - 1st Jose Rodriguez; 152 - 1st Angel Resio; 160 - 2nd Manuel Almanza; 170 - 3rd Ray Bazan; 170 - 4th Daniel Falcon; 182 - 3rd Andrew Torres; 220 - 1st Ethan Garza; 285 - 3rd Orlando Camacho.

District 15-5A Regional Qualifiers
Girls - 110 - 3rd Macie Saenz, Sharyland; 128 - 4th Valerie Cordova, Mission Veterans; 138 - 1st Mia Sanchez, Mission Veterans; 138 - 4th Maryjane Sustaita, Sharyland; 148 - 1st Ashley Aleman, Palmview; 148 - 3rd Irene Garza, Mission Veterans; 148 - 4th Corynna Murillo, Sharyland; 165 - 1st Judith Rivas, Palmview; 185 - 2nd Vianni Dominguez, Mission Veterans; 185 - 3rd Kiara Suelto, Sharyland; 215 - 3rd Madison Rhyne, Sharyland; 215 - 4th Angela Navarro, Mission Veterans.
Boys - 120 - 3rd Federico Rodriguez, Sharyland; 132 - 3rd Alejandro Garza, Palmview; 138 - 3rd Mauricio Mares, Palmview; 160 - 3rd Santino Pascual, Sharyland; 160 - 4th Leeroy Villanueva, Mission Veterans; 182 - 4th Matthew Worthington, Sharyland; 195 - 3rd Gabe Martinez, Sharyland; 220 - 2nd Seth Garcia, Palmview; 285 - 1st Gabriel Martinez, Sharyland.

District 15-6A Regional Qualifiers
Girls - 95 - 3rd Jennifer Acuna, Juarez-Lincoln; 95 - 4th Teresa Vazquez, La Joya; 102 - 1st Destiny Garza, Juarez-Lincoln; 102 - 3rd Brenda Morena, La Joya; 110 - 3rd Magdalena Soto, Mission High; 119 - 1st Maria Hernandez, La Joya; 128 - 1st Lesly Ramirez, La Joya; 138 - 4th Joanna Solis, Juarez-Lincoln; 148 - 1st Natalie Rosas, La Joya; 148 - 3rd Mariana Garza, Juarez-Lincoln; 165 - 1st Alexia Sandoval, Mission High; 185 - 2nd Samantha Salinas, La Joya; 185 - 3rd Jessica Aldama, Juarez-Lincoln; 215 - 3rd Viviana Ortiz, La Joya.

Boys - 106 - 1st Andres Ochoa, La Joya; 113 - 4th Adrian Soto, Mission High; 120 - 3rd Carlos Cruz, Juarez-Lincoln; 126 - 1st Carlos Doria, Juarez-Lincoln; 132 - 1st Neftali Hernandez, La Joya; 132 - 2nd Jose Cerda, Juarez-Lincoln; 132 - 4th Brandn Rodriguez, Mission High; 138 - 2nd Joe Resendez, Mission High; 138 - 4th Gabriel Flores, Juarez-Lincoln; 145 - 4th Luis Ramirez, Juarez-Lincoln; 152 - 2nd Sergio Morales, Juarez-Lincoln; 160 - 2nd Jibsam Gloria, Juarez-Lincoln; 160 - 4th Jose Luis Tovar, La Joya; 170 - 1st Alexander Silva, Juarez-Lincoln; 170 - Nikolas Mann, Mission High; 195 - 4th Gregoria Gonzalez, La Joya; 220 - 1st Juan Daniel Garcia, Juarez-Lincoln; 220 - 4th Rodolfo Zamarripa, La Joya; 285 - 1st Dante Lopez, Mission High; 285 - 4th Juan Cortina, La Joya.