Four Miner wrestlers capture honors at Coolidge Invitational

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Coolidge placers are (in no order) Colten Smith, Franky Renteria, Francisco Medina and Marco Salas. Submitted

By Andrew Luberda

San Manuel Miner

Colten Smith won the championship of his division at the 18th Annual Coolidge “Lions Club” Invitational last weekend. Joining Smith with individual honors were Franky Renteria (3rd Place), Francisco Medina (3rd Place), and Marco Salas (4th Place). Smith, who won his fourth championship overall at the Coolidge Invitational, was 8 – 0 at the meet. He was also won his third Outstanding Wrestling Award.

The Miners competed in the field of 12 teams and finished with a dual record of 2 – 4. They defeated San Tan Foothills (33 – 29) and Valley Christian (43 – 42). The Miners suffered losses to Higley (29 – 48), Vista Grande (27 – 52), Casa Grande (21 – 46), and Fountain Hills (31 – 48).

Head coach Daniel Najera likes how the team has progressed throughout the season, but still sees areas that need improvement. Najera wants his wrestlers to work on their foot attacks and explosiveness.

“We’re back on track and we’re where we need to be at this point of the season,” he said. “(The boys) are wrestling hard and having fun. We had a great tournament.”

With four weeks left before the state tournament, Najera wants to see his wrestlers continue to improve and work on the small details.

Najera announced that Francisco Medina (132 lbs) was named Wrestler of the Week. Medina was 11 – 1 last week and finished third at the Coolidge Invitational. Najera said Medina has been working with coaches on wrestling a mistake-free, perfect match. It’ll take that type of match for Medina to achieve success at the state tournament. That is something Najera feels Francisco is more than capable of. In addition to his success on the mat, Medina puts in the work off of it by running a mile before practice and following his coaches’ instructions. The coaches recognize his work ethic and are proud to see him have success.

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