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 tomorrow’s 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 Herald’s All-Area Wrestler of the Year award.
“For Timmy to bring his ‘A’ game 42 times ...” Covington said, marveling at the feat. “I’ve coached a lot of state champions (18 at Robertson High in Las Vegas, N.M.) ... and I’ve dealt with kids where you were always looking where they might go bad. With Timmy, you’re never looking for that. He just shows up and wrestles. It’s 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 doesn’t quite register that he is a state champ.
“It’s a moment I don’t think I’ll be able to forget,” he said. “I still haven’t gotten over it. Anytime someone brings it up ... ‘Did I do that?’ ”
He added that going undefeated wasn’t on his radar until the postseason. Winning state “was all I wanted,” he said. “It didn’t 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 didn’t really have a choice after that.”
Martinez said he can’t remember a time when wrestling wasn’t part of his life. He grew up going to Pasco matches to watch older brother Stevie, who placed eighth at 171 pounds in 2005.
“He’s a big part of my season,” Timmy said. “He’s always there at practices, helping me out. My folks are a big part of it. Without them, I don’t 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? You’re doing great at 126.’ He said, ‘Coach, I got unfinished business.’
“I like to trust the guys, and he’s one of the leaders on the team. And when I look in his eyes, and he says, ‘I got unfinished business,’ I’m like, ‘Hey, let’s do it.’ ”
This year’s 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. He’s 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
106—Homer Romero, jr., Sunnyside
113—Hans Rockwell, so., Riverside
120—Timmy Martinez, so., Pasco
126—Lucas Garza, sr., Othello
132—Beau Gleed, sr., Hermiston
138—Tyler Berger, jr., Hermiston
145—Clayton Smith, sr., Chiawana
152—Boss Garcia, sr., Chiawana
160—Abraham Rodriguez, sr., Hermiston
170—Sisto Santana Pina, sr., Kamiakin
182—Cruz Del Angel, jr., Kiona-Benton
195—Sam Shields-Colbray, fr., Hermiston
220—Adam Hansen, sr., Warden
285—Cody Zyph, jr., Kiona-Benton
Girls 100-130—Marizza Birrueta, so., Grandview (100)
Girls 137-235—Allesha Reyes, sr., Othello (137)
106—Anthony Barrera, sr., Othello
113—Jesse Barajas, jr., Sunnyside
120—Isaac Aguilar, jr., Hermiston
126—Brandon Gonzalez, sr., Pasco
132—Harley Kolp, sr., Kamiakin
138—Pryce Seely, jr., Richland
145—Roberto Orozco, jr., Connell
152—Jackson Fromm, sr., Pasco
160—Emilio Bustos, jr., Royal
170—Alex Myrick, sr., Royal
182—Austen Silvers, sr., Chiawana
195—Kevin Del-Angel, sr., Southridge
220—Caleb Batease, jr., Hermiston
285—Jacob Batease, sr., Hermiston
Girls 100-130—Desiree Zavala, fr., Grandview (124)
Girls 137-235—Bianca Hernandez, sr., Warden (145)
106—Gustavo Madrigal, sr., Riverside; Andy Wagner, fr., Hermiston.
113—Chris Montelongo, sr., Chiawana; AJ Garcia, jr., Hermiston; Cesar Castillo, sr., Kamiakin; Alec Espinoza, jr., Othello.
120—Manny Martinez, so., Othello; Santos Guerrero, sr., Sunnyside; Pedro Murillo, sr., Chiawana.
126—Wyatt Scribner, jr., Hermiston; Michael Hosfield, sr., Kennewick.
132—Noah Workman, sr., Richland; Vicente Mireles, sr., Mabton.
138—Jadin Salazar, jr., Chiawana; Kale Setzer, sr., Kiona-Benton.
145—Mario Sepulveda, jr., Riverside; Noe Palomino, jr., Sunnyside.
152—Andy Aguilera, sr., Irrigon; Tucker Simonton, sr., Columbia-Burbank.
160—Blake Bishop, jr., Chiawana.
170—Cameron Simpson, sr., Richland; Max Ramos, sr., Sunnyside; Alec St. Hilaire, sr., Hermiston.
182—Will Bishop, jr., Hanford; Bryce Overholt, jr., Southridge; Daniel Avalos, jr., Sunnyside; Christian Guerrero, sr., Royal.
195—Greg Heinen, jr., Connell.
220—Logan Reardon, sr., Walla Walla; Austin Carman, jr., Sunnyside; Abzael Loeza, jr., Chiawana; Dallon Grinder, jr., Hanford.
285—Armando Garcia, jr., Hermiston; Bubba Ruiz, jr., Othello; Martin Villanueva, sr., Chiawana.
Girls 100-130—Deianeira Caudle, jr., Warden (100); Tatum Sparks, so., Othello (124); Miexy Gonzales, sr., Warden (130).
w Kevin Anthony: 582-1403; email@example.com