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Roswell grateful for the season they had

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Roswell wrestling head coach Jesse Boggs. (David Rocha Photo)

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For Roswell wrestling seniors, it has been hard on them this season. It was painful not knowing if there would be a season, and having it suspended because of COVID-19. The wrestling team lost 10 matches because they were shut down.

Roswell was supposed to be wrestling in March, but it took them until May 7 to get back to wrestling. It seemed like forever and a day until the wrestlers were getting back into shape for the season. Roswell seniors Peralta Caanan, Zack Buckmister, Jeff Irish, Seth Rottman, Gustavo Arreola, Jaymon Cherinko and Kayden Graham — just to have a season, it meant everything to them and their high school careers.

“We only wrestled three to four weeks in May,” Roswell coach Jesse Boggs said.

Boggs said that anytime there is a long layoff from wrestling, it takes a toll. Physically, if the wrestlers have not been working out on their own it will take time for them to get into shape. The hardest part was learning how to wrestle on the mat again, and to get their cardio back.

On Saturday, Roswell had seven wrestlers qualify for the state tournament. They only had one placer, but the effort that was made restored the pride of the Coyotes. What mattered most was the discipline and dedication to the sport that is being taught by fifth-year coach Jesse Boggs.

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Boggs was a college academic all-American wrestler at New Mexico Highlands. He has mixed emotions as his first class is about to graduate. One of the lessons he has taught them is to see a wrestler that one of his wrestlers has beaten during district make it to state, and his wrestler not make it to state.

“There is a famous rugby coach from UCLA,” Boggs said. ‘We are grateful for everything and entitled for nothing.’”

Boggs said that was the logo on their shirts this year, and the mentality of the team this year.

The team was shut down and lost time because of the pandemic. Boggs said that anything that could go wrong this year did go wrong.

He also said that his players would come up to him and ask if they were going to get to wrestle — and he wouldn’t know what to tell them. Boggs was hoping his wrestlers would get one last opportunity but knew that if they didn’t, there was a life lesson in there to teach his athletes.

“We are so happy that our kids had a chance to wrestle one last time,” Boggs said. “I’m very happy for our seniors. We kept telling our kids to keep their heads up and stay focused. I’m incredibly proud of them.”

The team went 2-5, with Buckmister going undefeated, 8-0, until state. For Roswell just to get seven wrestlers to state was huge. They had to place first or second at districts in a match involving Carlsbad, Hobbs and them. If they placed third, they were automatically out.

Roswell’s Dakota Stuck earned fourth place in the girls 220-pound division on Saturday in Rio Rancho during the state tournament. (David Rocha Photo)

Roswell’s lone state placer this year was Dakota Stuck. She placed fourth in the heavyweight division in her first year of competing. Last year, Boggs had only one wrestler, Gabriel Garcia, place in the heavyweight division.

The difference this year was that every wrestler for Roswell made it to the blood round. Boggs’ first year was his best year, placing five in the finals. That year Roswell placed fifth during the tournament and that was the highest in the history of Roswell wrestling.

Boggs said after his first year that Roswell has been young. He’s been trying to build the wrestling program. After the match, Boggs said to the team that they should be happy to be at state, especially since they didn’t think they would have a season.

Boggs and Goddard coach Nick Archuleta are trying to work together to build wrestling as a sport for Roswell. Both want the community to be proud of both schools.

“The whole goal is to build the program up,” Boggs said. “We want to win state championships and have multiple guys be state placers. I wrestled in college and my goal is to get those guys to college and get their education paid for.”

Boggs wants people to see the R, and to fear it and respect it. When people know they have a match against Roswell, Boggs wants people to know it is going to be a contest.

“I love wrestling so much,” Boggs said, “because you have to push through pain and suffering. As a wrestler, you have to be motivated. There is so much out of your control to place. I think if we wrestle again at state with our wrestlers, they place. But that’s how life works — you have to learn how to handle those things and keep going forward and handle adversity in life.”

Boggs said that he hopes his senior wrestlers take his motto of getting 1% better each day with them in life. Boggs said, you can’t get 100% better every day, but you can strive to get 1% better every day — and before you know it, you’ll be really good at something.

Sports editor J.T. Keith can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 304, or sports@rdrnews.com.

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