Sixteen schools from the Central Texas area, San Antonio and Corpus Christi met at Vista Ridge High School last weekend to participate in the Hill Country Invitational.
Vandegrift failed to win a tournament for the first time this season, finishing second in the team total to San Antonio Reagan. Leander finished third in the team competition, Rouse finished 10th, Cedar Park finished 13th, Glenn came in 15th and Vista Ridge finished 16th.
“This event has always had a lot of different teams from all over the state,” Vista Ridge head coach David Burdick said. “It’s always been a tough tournament but it hasn’t been large. The tournament is at an awesome time because they get to get one more competition in before the holidays.”
The Rangers have an interesting history when it comes to girls’ wrestling. Carrie Clark won two state championships at Vista Ridge and made it to the state tournament for three years in a row but the girls’ team disappeared for about seven years.
Burdick had no girls in his first year at the helm five years ago but had two girls the next year, six last year and nine girls wrestling this season.
This was the first time in the 12-year history of the tournament that girls’ teams had their own bracket. About 60 girls wrestled on one of four mats for five hours. Vista Ridge’s Jayda Bordeaux won the 102-pound division, Rouse’s Alex Elias won the 128-pound class and Faith Villarreal won the 215-pound division. The Lady Rangers finished third in the
“As the girls showed up and decided they wanted to wrestle, Burdick said. “I said we might as well give them the same opportunity. It’s a tradition and I wanted to give them the Hill Country experience too.”
The Lady Rangers have high hopes for the season as they aim for a high team finish. They had the most success on the girls’ side last year, sending Villarreal, Alena Clavijo and Jillian Walker to the state tournament.
“We’re trying to get the girls in the top five in the state,” Burdock said. “We’ve got a lot of boys that are getting better and we’re going to fight to get into regionals and the state tournament. I take a long view — it takes hours of practice and lots of reps. We have a lot of wrestlers that have the ability to be really good.”