Every now and again, Pasco wrestling coach Jay Covington questions his standout sophomore, Timmy Martinez.
You ready to lead in the wrestling room? You need to drop a few pounds for tomorrows tournament. You sure you want to wrestle at 120 pounds at state?
Every time Covington raises a question, Martinez gives him a look and replies in four words.
Coach, I got this.
After Martinez went 42-0 and won the 120-pound state title at the Class 4A tournament, he also has the Tri-City Heralds All-Area Wrestler of the Year award.
For Timmy to bring his A game 42 times ... Covington said, marveling at the feat. Ive coached a lot of state champions (18 at Robertson High in Las Vegas, N.M.) ... and Ive dealt with kids where you were always looking where they might go bad. With Timmy, youre never looking for that. He just shows up and wrestles. Its tough to do what he did.
Almost a month after Martinez had his hand raised on a Saturday night at the Tacoma Dome, he said it still doesnt quite register that he is a state champ.
Its a moment I dont think Ill be able to forget, he said. I still havent gotten over it. Anytime someone brings it up ... Did I do that?
He added that going undefeated wasnt on his radar until the postseason. Winning state was all I wanted, he said. It didnt matter what my record was. But being unbeaten, that was something else.
And when news of his unbeaten record started to circulate in the postseason?
My goal was to finish it off, he said. I didnt really have a choice after that.
Martinez said he cant remember a time when wrestling wasnt part of his life. He grew up going to Pasco matches to watch older brother Stevie, who placed eighth at 171 pounds in 2005.
Hes a big part of my season, Timmy said. Hes always there at practices, helping me out. My folks are a big part of it. Without them, I dont know.
Martinez, who also plays baseball and football, said he was an average wrestler until he threw himself into the sport full on in eighth grade, wrestling year-round and traveling to tournaments.
He finished seventh at 120 pounds as a freshman and spent most of this past season at 126. When it came time to lock in his weight for districts, he knew he would return to Tacoma at 120.
He set his mind to do it, Covington said. I asked him, You sure you want to do it? Youre doing great at 126. He said, Coach, I got unfinished business.
I like to trust the guys, and hes one of the leaders on the team. And when I look in his eyes, and he says, I got unfinished business, Im like, Hey, lets do it.
This years all-area first team is a wide-ranging outfit, with wrestlers from nine schools encompassing 11 state titles and five repeat champions, including one three-timer.
It was such a tough nut to crack that six state champs were left on the second team or honorable mention.
On the heels of its Oregon 5A state championship, Hermiston placed four titlists on the first team: senior Beau Gleed at 132, junior three-time champion Tyler Berger at 138, senior repeat champ Abraham Rodriguez at 160 and freshman Sam Shields-Colbray at 195.
Chiawana and Kiona-Benton were the only other schools to land multiple first-teamers. The Riverhawks have seniors Clayton Smith at 145 (third in Class 4A) and Boss Garcia at 152 (state participant).
Ki-Be junior Cruz Del Angel posted his second consecutive unbeaten season and won the Class 1A title at 182 pounds, and junior teammate Cody Zyph was a champ at 285.
Kamiakin senior Sisto Santana Pina repeated his Class 3A title at 170 pounds. Hes joined by another 3A champ, Sunnyside junior Homer Romero at 106.
Riverside sophomore Hans Rockwell won his second Oregon 3A state title with his 113 crown, Othello senior Lucas Garza was a 2A champ at 126 and Warden senior Adam Hansen finished second at 220.
In the girls ranks, Grandview sophomore Marizza Birrueta (first at 100) and Othello senior Allesha Reyes (first 137) are the lower- and upper-weight first-teamers.
The coach of the year is longtime Huskies head man Ruben Martinez, who guided Othello to the Class 2A state title.
w Kevin Anthony: 582-1403; firstname.lastname@example.org
106Homer Romero, jr., Sunnyside
113Hans Rockwell, so., Riverside
120Timmy Martinez, so., Pasco
126Lucas Garza, sr., Othello
132Beau Gleed, sr., Hermiston
138Tyler Berger, jr., Hermiston
145Clayton Smith, sr., Chiawana
152Boss Garcia, sr., Chiawana
160Abraham Rodriguez, sr., Hermiston
170Sisto Santana Pina, sr., Kamiakin
182Cruz Del Angel, jr., Kiona-Benton
195Sam Shields-Colbray, fr., Hermiston
220Adam Hansen, sr., Warden
285Cody Zyph, jr., Kiona-Benton
Girls 100-130Marizza Birrueta, so., Grandview (100)
Girls 137-235Allesha Reyes, sr., Othello (137)
106Anthony Barrera, sr., Othello
113Jesse Barajas, jr., Sunnyside
120Isaac Aguilar, jr., Hermiston
126Brandon Gonzalez, sr., Pasco
132Harley Kolp, sr., Kamiakin
138Pryce Seely, jr., Richland
145Roberto Orozco, jr., Connell
152Jackson Fromm, sr., Pasco
160Emilio Bustos, jr., Royal
170Alex Myrick, sr., Royal
182Austen Silvers, sr., Chiawana
195Kevin Del-Angel, sr., Southridge
220Caleb Batease, jr., Hermiston
285Jacob Batease, sr., Hermiston
Girls 100-130Desiree Zavala, fr., Grandview (124)
Girls 137-235Bianca Hernandez, sr., Warden (145)
106Gustavo Madrigal, sr., Riverside; Andy Wagner, fr., Hermiston.
113Chris Montelongo, sr., Chiawana; AJ Garcia, jr., Hermiston; Cesar Castillo, sr., Kamiakin; Alec Espinoza, jr., Othello.
120Manny Martinez, so., Othello; Santos Guerrero, sr., Sunnyside; Pedro Murillo, sr., Chiawana.
126Wyatt Scribner, jr., Hermiston; Michael Hosfield, sr., Kennewick.
132Noah Workman, sr., Richland; Vicente Mireles, sr., Mabton.
138Jadin Salazar, jr., Chiawana; Kale Setzer, sr., Kiona-Benton.
145Mario Sepulveda, jr., Riverside; Noe Palomino, jr., Sunnyside.
152Andy Aguilera, sr., Irrigon; Tucker Simonton, sr., Columbia-Burbank.
160Blake Bishop, jr., Chiawana.
170Cameron Simpson, sr., Richland; Max Ramos, sr., Sunnyside; Alec St. Hilaire, sr., Hermiston.
182Will Bishop, jr., Hanford; Bryce Overholt, jr., Southridge; Daniel Avalos, jr., Sunnyside; Christian Guerrero, sr., Royal.
195Greg Heinen, jr., Connell.
220Logan Reardon, sr., Walla Walla; Austin Carman, jr., Sunnyside; Abzael Loeza, jr., Chiawana; Dallon Grinder, jr., Hanford.
285Armando Garcia, jr., Hermiston; Bubba Ruiz, jr., Othello; Martin Villanueva, sr., Chiawana.
Girls 100-130Deianeira Caudle, jr., Warden (100); Tatum Sparks, so., Othello (124); Miexy Gonzales, sr., Warden (130).
w Kevin Anthony: 582-1403; email@example.com