Three compete in regional wrestling tournament


Courtesy of wrestling parents

Three students competed at the UIL regional wrestling tournament in El Paso.

After beginning their competitive season in December, three students from the wrestling team competed in the regional tournament in El Paso Feb. 14-15.

Junior Dalton Hale, sophomores Josue Castillo and Jeff McDonald qualified for the regional tournament following their district runs at Amarillo High Feb. 7-8. McDonald’s fourth place finish at district in his 220 lb weight class qualified him to compete at regionals.

“The fifth placer got to challenge me,” McDonald said. “So it all depended on if I won or lost that match. I was thinking ‘this is a big deal.’ If I win this I would go to regionals. I got my mind right and see the guy lining up across from me. I thought ‘that guy is pretty big.’ I was stressing out, and I had to calm down.”

McDonald started his freshman year wrestling with the 182 weight class on junior varsity.

The thing that helped me the most was realizing it’s all mental.

— Jeff McDonald, 10

“Last year I really didn’t take shots much when I wrestled,” McDonald said. “Eventually I learned that taking shots was important. But the thing that helped me the most was realizing it’s all mental. If you think you’re going to lose, you’re going to lose. But if you think you can be better than the other guy you obviously have a better chance at winning.”

Going into his junior year, McDonald said he hopes to qualify for the state tournament.

“To go top three in state next year would be a big goal for me,” McDonald said. “To go at least top three and be ranked in wrestling next year would probably be my main goal.”

Both district and regional competitions included matches against the back-to-back state champion Randall team.

“It’s one of the hardest districts in the state of Texas,” Castillo said. “We have both Randall and Dumas. Just to make it to regionals is a real challenge, so I was pretty stoked to go to regionals.”

For next year we want to get more physically and mentally prepared for those matches.

— Josue Castillo, 10

The trio of Hale, McDonald and Castillo hold the most wins in Canyon wrestling history. 

“For next year we want to get more physically and mentally prepared for those matches,” Castillo said. “Especially for those matches that you’re supposed to win.”

Hale finished his season with 29 wins and 13 losses.

“We run in practice and have worked on getting our cardio up,” Hale said. “At the end of the match we’re usually really tired, so coach [Frausto] had us run a lot more.”

Hale said his season was good but could have been better in whole.

“The more practice you get in, the better it helps out in the future,” Hale said. “We don’t have a senior this year, so we’ve done really good. We’ll be even better next year.”