Just two years ago, Borger Wrestling Head Coach Antonio Murga was enjoying the luxury of having an experienced squad that could match up well against any team in the region and had six wrestlers qualify for the state tournament.
However, over the last two years those state wrestlers have moved on, and now Murga finds himself leading a young group of wrestlers for the 2011-12 season.
Entering the season, the Bulldog Wrestling team has just one senior, Dylan Huffine, and three juniors, Anthony Bates, Jacob Cosper, and Dustin Tucker, leaving the rest of the spots in the various weight divisions to be filled with sophomores and freshmen.
Due to having such a young group, Murga said his main focus is seeing each wrestler get better, saying, “Most of the freshmen are coming in with no wrestling experience, so we are spending a lot of time teaching the basics in order to build a foundation. That is what we are going to focus on until we get it right because having a solid foundation is going to pay off and give each of them something they can resort to if they get themselves in trouble on the mat.”
Murga added, “We have a group that is working hard and wants to be here. Right now our main goal is to take baby steps and see improvement in each match. It might be a tough year because we will have several 14-year olds going against 18-year olds.”
Murga said he has already seen progress and some promise from his younger wrestlers. Some of the promising freshmen include Zach Robinson, who has spent several years in the Borger Youth Wrestling program, Uriel Orona, a fourth place finisher in the Dumas Takedown Tournament on November 19th, and Ben Cosper.
Other freshmen on the team include Alvin Bustillos, Kirklan Chisholm, Colton DeRouen, Julian Juarez, Andrew Munoz, Antwane Sanders, and AJ Torres.
Murga expects good things from the two sophomores returning to the team Gaspar Esparza and Isiah Martinez, who Murga said has shown a lot of improvement over the past year.
As for his four upper classmen, Murga said he expects each of them to have solid seasons and be able to lead the team by example.
Murga said, “We don’t have anyone that is a loud emotional type, but our guys do a good job of coming in and doing what is asked of them everyday.”
Murga is quick to say he knows his team will experience some ups and downs this year. However, the coach believes his team has the ability to qualify several for the regional tournament come February.
Murga said, “We know we are going to be a work in progress all season and the kids understand that. But if we stay focused and committed to working hard there is the possibility we can have several make it to regionals.”
Borger’s first home wrestling match will take place on December 15th against Amarillo High beginning at 5:00 p.m.