Juarez-Lincoln High School state medalist Danae Sanchez credits her teammates for the championship trophy the school earned last weekend. Defeating every school they faced at the Team Dual District Wrestling meet, the Lady Huskies claimed the girls championship for the fourth time in five years.
But Sanchez certainly led the way for her team. With an 11-0 record so far this year, Sanchez is once again displaying the dominance she became known for in both the 148 lb. and 165 lb. weight classes last year.
“Last year was a pretty good year for me,” said Sanchez. “I won the district championship, the regional championship and I missed the state championship by one point.”
As impressive as Sanchez’s record may be, she knows very well that it takes more than one wrestler to win a team dual tournament.
“This is the first time that I’ve seen my team work really, really hard for this,” said Sanchez. “We worked hard all week long because the dedication and commitment was there. It was a tough tournament, but we didn’t win by forfeit as sometimes happens when teams don’t have enough girls. We had plenty of competition and, while it was close, we won everything. It was a total team effort.”
Sanchez is not the only one tallying big points for the Lady Huskies wrestlers. The team has two more regional qualifiers on this year’s squad, Yaritza Colunga (185 lbs) and Mayra Becerra (128 lbs) who have been contributing.
The Lady Huskies’ recent success is by no means an indicator of how their season has gone so far this year. Just one of the reasons his squad has been struggling, wrestling coach Humberto Vela said he began the year with 23 girls but is now down to a dozen.
“This year has been pretty tough for us because we have a lot of freshmen,” explained Vela. “As a result we have to teach them the basics. At the same time, some of the other girls are struggling to learn new moves. That’s causing them to become a frustrated, but it seems as if over the past two weeks we’ve begun to come together.”
“The new girls are starting to catch up to the girls that have been here before and it seems to have worked because we won the dual district tournament,” added Vela. “Now we have to start learning new moves, improving on the basic moves and working on conditioning.”
To pin down the team dual district championship, the Lady Huskies first won their preliminary round match against Pharr-San Juan-Alamo (PSJA) Memorial Friday to advance into the winners’ bracket. They defeated PSJA High and Weslaco High to advance to the championship match in which they defeated the San Benito Lady Greyhounds.
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