Written by Mike Stockton & Edited by Desiree French
Well 2005-06 has been an incredible year for Women’s wrestling in the state of Texas so far. It started when State ended last February and with our ladies starting freestyle wrestling for the summer, and it will end next weekend in Austin. We saw LeAnn Barney from Austin Anderson finish 4th in the Nation at the Senior Women’s Level. She also led our Junior National Freestyle team to win the National Championship in Fargo. Into this season we saw two more Texas ladies become 100+ winners’ they were juniors: Lindsey Brooks and Vanessa Epps. Now leading into next weekend there will definitely be some wars, there is scarcely any weight class where battles won’t be fought. Here are my predictions for the top 4 women in each weight.
95 - The war starts at this weight class. Last year’s 3rd Place finisher and Fargo All-American, Lene Wood from Frisco Centennial enters 33-0, but should get a strong fight from Region 1 champ, Blue Montoya of El Paso Chapin (26-0). Nicole Silva from El Paso Montwood and Chelsi Pickens should round out the next two places. Christina Aguilar from San Antonio Lee could also be a considered a dark-horse here with her 3rd Place finish in Region 4. Best early match up will be Silva vs. Aguilar in match 2.
Wood, Montoya, Silva, and then Pickens.
102 – It doesn’t get any easier with this weight class at all. 102 is the TOUGHEST weight class in the state. There are easily 7 girls in this weight that could walk away with the crown. Last year State Champ Awbrey Lowe from El Paso Hanks walks in 33-1 ready to defend her title. Lisa Martinez from Caprock only has one loss this season and it was to Lowe at Regionals. In Region 2, one of the best in the state who never seems to get any respect is Tiffany Larriba from Southlake Carroll (29-2). Also Emily Martin from Frisco Centennial has to be considered for medalling. Courtney Hole from Katy Taylor has won 37 matches this year, including a pin over Larriba. Region 4 is sending two Austin ladies in Nancy Rodriguez and All-American Helen Timmons from Austin LBJ. The best match up will be the bottom half quarterfinals with Lowe vs. Timmons, and then Martin vs. Hole. Larriba, Lowe, Martin, and then Rodriguez. We will see the casualties of war after this weight class.
110 – This will be a farewell for one of the best the State has ever had. Angel Diaz from Tascosa is the best wrestler in the State of Texas. She will walk away with this title. No one touched her last year and no one will touch her this year. The battle will be for 2nd, 3rd, and 4th. Rachel Woodruff from Austin LBJ is the next best followed by Courtney Weiser from Cy-Fair, Georgette Villejas from Hereford, Suzanne Baker from Arlington Lamar, and Courtney McGuire from Langham Creek. Diaz, Woodruff, Villejas, and Weisner. This will be a great farewell to Diaz on winning her third title.
119 – This could be a battle that not many anticipated. LeAnn Barney is the best freestyle wrestler in the state, and one of the best in the nation but this is folkstyle wrestling. She was upset last year in the quarterfinals. Barney is going to have to show up and go this year. Emily Erwin from Arlington Bowie, former State Champ Lara Hamilton from Katy Taylor, Ashley Rizzo from El Paso Hanks is all looking for the top spot. Then you can look at Tessa Plana from Coppell as the one who will be poised to upset everyone. Her only losses are to Erwin at Regionals and Barney at the Titan Invitational, she even has a win over Barney at the Lone Star Duals. Barney, Erwin, Plana, and then Hamilton. The best early match up will be Plana vs. Hamilton in the quarterfinals.
128 – Not as strong a weight class as we have seen in years past; injures really hurt this class this year giving Region 1 the upper hand. However there will be some strong women in the class. Norma Rueda from El Paso Socorrro and Raquel Vasquez from Cinco Ranch are the top two followed by Brenda Mendoza from El Paso Franklin and Jackie Stiles from Corpus Christi Ray. Rueda, Stiles, Vazquez, and then Mendoza.
138 – This weight class seemed not to be as strong but late in the year it many of the girls stepped up their game. The favorite would have to be Frisco’s Vanessa Epps; she is an All-American and 41-0. She wrestled in different parts of the state this year and has seen most of the top girls at this weight. Stephanie Hignight from Caprock only has one loss this year and it came at the hands of Epps. Alex Bradshaw from Katy has only two losses this year and they came at the hands of Lindsey Brooks (see 148). Those make two very tough opponents for Epps to have to go through. You can also add Danielle Williams from Killeen and Ivonne Ramirez from Arlington Sequin to be in the hunt for those top spots. Epps, Hignight, Bradshaw, and then Williams. The best early match up will be Ramirez and Williams in the quarterfinals.
148 – This is another deep weight class but like 110, most of them are fighting it out for 2nd through 4th. There is one top wrestler here, Lindsey Brooks from Klein. She is another All-American, 40-0, and the defending State Champion, now 2nd through 4th will be a war with little survivors. Look for Maci Alvarado from Caprock, Sasha McElroy from Arlington, and Kristi Smith from Brazoswood to hold the next three spots. You also have people like Tyra Taylor from Tascosa, Samantha Richardson from Austin Atkins, Katie Brackin from LBJ, and Alannah Griego from Frisco going to fight to get in that top tier. Brooks, Alvarado, McElroy, and the Richardson girl. The best early match up will be Griego and Smith in round one.
165 – This is the weakest weight class in the state all year long but it will be one of the better finals in the tournament. Toni Rogers from Coppell and Erica McClendon from Arlington Seguin, both All-Americans and both returning State Placers will meet in the finals. The next group of top ladies in this weight class is Venus Barron from Katy Taylor, Megan Wade from Austin Atkins, and Natali Ramos from River Road. Rogers, McClendon, Barron and Wade. The best match up will be McClendon vs. Barron in round two.
185 – Just when this tournament started getting easier here comes 185. Last year’s State Runner-Up Carrie Clark from Vista Ridge leads a stellar cast. Adele Kurt from Katy Taylor and Kacee Ravenberg from Katy have fought each other all year. Both have come out on top at some point with Kurt getting the last win at Regionals. Aumaya Vernon from Dallas Samuel is also somewhere in this top tier at 28-1. Finally you have the two super-sophomores from Region 1 with Marissa Schrapel from Tascosa and Sam Aguiree from El Paso Eastwood. I see Clark first, then Ravenberg second, then Vernon third and Kurt fourth.
215 – When you thought we heard the last of Yocum from El Paso here comes another one. Tayler Yocum enters State at 32-0 trying to follow in her sister’s footsteps. Kiki Williams from Katy is next and then you have to look at Leah Paige from Houston Westside, who moved up from 185 to challenge at this weight. The surprise pick would have to be Sarah Lewis from Frisco Centennial; she is in her first year of wrestling as a senior but has come on strong since January with only 3 losses. Yocum, Williams, Paige, and then Lewis. Lewis and Paige will be the best match up early in round 2.
Here are my champs:
95 – Wood – Centennial
102 – Larriba – Southlake Carroll
110 – Diaz – Tascosa
119 – Barney – Austin Anderson
128 – Rueda – Socorro
138 – Epps – Frisco
148 – Brooks – Klein
165 – Rogers – Coppell
185 – Clark – Vista Ridge
215 – Yocum – El Paso Eastwood
Who wins the team title? There is only one way to win the team title and that is to put people in the finals. The top teams will be Frisco Centennial, Katy, and Katy Taylor but the champ will be Amarillo Caprock this year. It is going to be captivating to see how all this plays out. This year’s state is not for the faint of heart. Good Luck to all the ladies and see you in Austin.