Trinidad High School’s Head Wrestling Coach Adam Ortivez just finished his second season as the man in charge of the Mighty Miners grappling squad. He’s ably assisted by Assistant Coach Rich Gallegos. Coach Ortivez was asked how felt about the team’s season, and how they had progressed throughout the year, in a Thursday, March 14 interview.
“Yeah. We had a lot of adversity this year, but we kind of overcame it and we hit our highest point in wrestling at just the right time. It was a good state tournament. Dual-wise, we’re just never very good at duels. I don’t know what it is, but tournaments are where we really shine.”
He was asked about how the team had overcome adversity in the past season. “We had a few injuries that took some kids out for part of the season. We had some weather problems, obviously, and it’s hit or miss. Some days they have it and some days they don’t.”
A La Veta native who attended Colorado State University-Pueblo and graduated from Adams State University, he was asked if he liked the overall direction the program seemed to be headed. “Yeah you know. We’re starting to have more success with it. We’re going from three state qualifiers with one state runner-up last year, up to three state placers this year. So progress is starting to increase. I think everybody goes out there and they understand that when you’re in that sport you really can’t hold back. It’s a very aggressive contact sport, so you’ve got to go all out every single time.
“We were battling injuries and bumps and bruises all season, but that’s the thing about sports.”
Ortivez also teaches high school math and coaches the high school track and field team and said he had several wrestlers on the track team, while several other wrestlers played football, baseball or other sports throughout the year. “They’re really multi-sport athletes. We had seven seniors on the wrestling team this year who competed throughout the season, and then we had a couple of underclassmen, but it was mostly a senior dominated team.”
The wrestling team’s efforts will also extend into the summer months with two wrestling camps and a year-around weightlifting program on the schedule. “Weight training is a big summer thing for us. We’re trying to keep everybody committed, which they really need to do to compete successfully.
He noted that Cedaredge High School was among the toughest Class 2A teams the Mighty Miners had faced last year. “In our 2A it would be Cedaredge. We dueled them here and we wrestled against them in our own tournament. They were in the top five at the state tournament. John Mall of Walsenburg was also good competition for us. They had a lot of good kids and they had great success this year.”
He was asked what important information he tried to impress upon his wrestlers. “I tell them to constantly be moving ahead and being aggressive. I told my kids before the tournaments that it’s just another day of practice, until we get to the regional tournament. Whatever we do I’m okay with it as long as we’re trying hard. Even if we’re making mistakes, that’s okay because we can learn from it, as opposed to just going out there and laying down and giving up. So my biggest thing is that I don’t care if we win or lose, as long as we’re trying hard.”
Junior Chance Weining wrestled in the 195-pound weight class and in the state tournament, though he did not place. He said all the hard work was worth it, on one condition. “I’m good with it,” Weining said. “As long as Big Adam (Coach Ortivez) cooks us up a nice barbecue for us at the end of the season, then I’m okay with it. It’s all good.”
Senior Jesus Diaz placed third in the state tournament in his 182-pound weight class, and said he would like to continue his wrestling career in college. “I don’t really know what school I want to go to yet,” Diaz said. “I’m going to give it a couple of months and see what happens.”
Five Mighty Miner wrestlers participated in the Class 2A State Wrestling Tournament held on Thursday, February 21 through Saturday, February 23 at the Pepsi Center in Denver. Here’s how they did: Dylan Armijo earned Sixth Place in the 126-pound weight class. Jesus Diaz earned Third Place in the 182-pound weight class. Alberto Felthager earned Fourth Place in the 106-pound weight class. Bill Felthager qualified for state in the 120-pound weight class, but did not place. Chance Weining qualified for state in the 195-pound weight class, but did not place.