It was a good wrestling season for the H-E-B schools, and looking at their rosters, it’s understandable why the coaches of both teams are already excited about next season.
“Our kids showed a lot of improvement this season. Our men’s team finished with a dual record of 10-11, which is a big improvement over where we were a year ago,” L.D. Bell coach Larry Croy said.
“Our numbers have gone up, and the kids are excited about where we are headed.”
The Raiders and Lady Raiders have a majority of their wrestlers returning next season.
On the girls side, senior Alexia Pineda ended her career with a sixth-place finish at the state tournament in the 128-pound weight class. She had previously placed second in both District 5-6A and Region II.
“She wrestled very well at the state tournament in order to come away with a medal,” Croy said. “It has been a long time since Bell has had a state placer, and we could not be more excited for Lexi. We are certainly going to miss her leadership next year.”
Freshman Kylee Sanchez highlights the returners next season after she qualified for state in the 102 weight class in her first season.
“We are really excited about helping her develop over the next three years,” Croy said.
For the boys, sophomore Logan Collins finished with a 26-10 record in the 170-pound class. He was second in District 5-6A.
“He is going to have to step up and be a leader for us next year,” Croy said. “We are expecting great things from him down the road.”
Junior Grant Woodson posted a 17-18 record competing in the 113 division. He ended the season on a high note, placing second at district and turning in a strong showing at the regional tournament.
“Although he did not qualify for the state tournament, he wrestled his best tournament of the year at regionals,” Croy said. “I’m excited to see if he can build on that momentum going into next season.
“It was a great year for us. The future looks bright for the L.D. Bell wrestling program.”
Another dominant season for Trinity
The Trinity wrestling program continued to enhance its reputation as one of the best in Texas this season.
And coach Travis Clark expects another fine season in 2016-17, thanks to several returning state qualifiers on both the boys and girls rosters.
The Trinity boys and girls squads each finished with 28-3 records in dual matches. Both were also champions of District 5-6A.
The Lady Trojans went on to capture the championship of Region II, and the Trojans took third.
Two Trojans wrapped up their career by placing at state competition. Benjamin Bennett was sixth in the 126-pound division and Job Ayala was fourth at 170 pounds.
As for the girls, Paisley Zandi made her third straight appearance at state, competing in the 148-pound division. The senior-to-be is the reigning regional champion.
Three other two-time state qualifiers are already making preparations for next season — junior-to-be Mack Beggs (110 pounds), along with seniors-to-be Savannah Bye (128) and Passion Hollins (165).
Coming back next season for the boys is Alfredo Benavidez, a state qualifier at 132 pounds this season, who will be a senior. Also back are state alternates Harley Williamson (106), who will be a junior, and Keaton Fanning (182), who will be a senior.
“Many of these kids will be traveling this summer and competing in national tournaments,” Clark said.