WESLACO — Valley View junior Dafne Aguilar-Martinez was bounced out of the winner’s bracket by San Antonio Johnson’s Melissa Villarreal on Saturday at the Tomas Garces Wrestling Tournament held at Weslaco High.
Villarreal (11-2) went on to win the 119-pound weight class by defeating McAllen Memorial’s Victoria Gomez (10-2) in the championship.
Martinez (10-3) settled for third, defeating Edinburg High freshman Rubi Emiliano (10-4).
“I just wrestled with the techniques I’m able to do,” Martinez said. “I got third place and I’m happy with it.”
San Antonio Johnson came away with the team win, leading the way with 96 points. Donna High placed second with 95 points, and Edinburg High finished third with 78 points.
Martinez said she realized her potential after going up against her San Antonio Johnson opponent, and it was the wrestling experience she needed to learn from.
“Now she knows she can really produce at a higher level,” Valley View girls wrestling head coach Crystal Franz said. “Her work ethic is what has put her in this position, and we are getting to the place we have to be, and are learning from their mistakes and we are trying to fix them.”
Martinez joined the wrestling team last year and found instant success in the sport as she advanced to the regionals.
She said this year her goal is to make it to the state meet any way she can. One of those ways she enjoys is psyching out her opponents with her long themed socks pulled up high just below the knee. Saturday’s black socks came with Christmas light wrapping around the socks.
“I was at the store on Friday night and I saw the socks and I just had to have them for my wrestling tournament,” Martinez said.
Franz said the San Antonio Johnson School has a really good wrestling program on both the girls and boys side.
One of the most anticipated championship matches was between Edinburg High freshman Tanya Mendoza (14-1) and San Antonio Johnson freshman Mikayla Herber (8-3), ranked No. 13 in the state in the 110-pound weight class, according to wrestlingtexas.com. Mendoza, unranked, entered the match undefeated.
The match ended after Herber was able to scoop Mendoza on the mat as they each struggled to find a pin, but it was Herber pinned Mendoza, for Mendoza’s first loss of the season.
San Antonio Johnson head coach Lee Miller said he brought his teams to the Valley because of the welcoming wrestling community and to get some mat time with Valley competition.
“We wanted to come down and see the competition, and what to expect when we get to regionals,” Miller said. “We have had a few head-to-head matches, and we’re getting good competition down here.”