by Melissa Ray
LA VETA — As much as Coach Ortivez loves football, it’s not hard to see that he also has a real passion for wrestling. Last year’s record proves he and his wrestlers take this sport seriously. Adam Ortivez earned a state title last year and is now wrestling at Adams State University.
This season looks promising with eight wrestlers out for the team, including three who are returning state qualifiers: W.D. Arnold, Eric Griego, and Elliot Blessman. Arnold and Griego wrestled in Australia this past summer, participating in a program called “Down Under Sports.” Arnold was ranked in the top three for most of the season last year.
Of the eight wrestlers, only one is not an experienced grappler. There are three seniors, Griego, Blessman, and Austin Van Lue; two juniors, Arnold and Joash Teague; one sophomore, Zaul Casanova; and two freshman, Hehr Haught and Vincent Ozzello.
Ortivez commented, “My expectations for the season are high. We are spending the first couple of weeks of practice getting tournament ready. We have a good chance of taking our returners to state. Any three of our wrestlers could do it. Adam winning a state title last year definitely opened our boys’ eyes to the possibilities available to them if they apply themselves.”
The wrestlers head to Akron on Saturday for their first tournament. Go Redskins!