LOCAL Dec. 3, 2021Opens season with Piedra Vista first CHS Wrestlers host Cavern City Invitational The weekend couldn't get much bigger for Carlsbad High School's wrestling program.The Cavemen will open up the 2021-22 season this afternoon by entertaining Farmington's Piedra Vista in a dual match at 3 p.m. On Saturday both teams will play host for the always tough Cavern City Invitational."It really is going to be a big weekend for our kids," said CHS wrestling coach Joe Bach. "They're all very eager to get the new season underway. They're ready to go."The Cavemen, who finished sixth at last year's state tournament, are especially eager. "Our boys have the nucleus to be a very strong team," said the CHS coach. "I feel that, if we can keep everybody healthy, they have the potential to do extremely well on the mat this year."The Cavemen return five wrestlers who placed at the 2020-21 state tournament. Jake Fuentes, last year's state champion at 182, Matt Najera the state runner-up at 138 and Marcus Najera who finished 3rd at 106 top the list.Also back are sixth place finishers Logan Romero-126 and Luke Waters-132. The CHS boys are also hoping to get Anthony Fuentes back on the mat soon. Fuentes, out with an injury last year, placed third as a sophomore during the 2019-20 state tournament.Although the Cavegirls have no state placers from last year on their roster, Bach says they're capable of performing well this weekend. "We have fifteen girls on our team this year," he said. "And they just might be the biggest girls team in the state. We're all looking forward to watching them wrestle this weekend." As for the Cavern City Invitational, set to get underway at 10 a.m. on Saturday morning, it promises to be a good one."We have about ten or eleven teams coming this year." said Bach. "Piedra Vista, who beat us for the state championship in 2020 by just a handful of points, will be staying over after our dual match on Friday to compete," said Bach. "They're always well coached and always
have some really good athletes. They should do well.""Clovis, who is just starting up their wrestling program this year, will be here. It'll be interesting to see how they fare at the tournament," he said. "Also coming will be Hobbs, Roswell and a few others that we really haven't seen in a while because of Covid." Bach says wrestling competitors should get plenty of wrestling at the Invitational."We'll be conducting a round-robin tournament so all the kids should get to wrestle at least four or five matches," said the CHS coach. "For them, it should be fun."Finals for the Cavern City Invitational are tentatively set for 1:30 Saturday afternoon.