Danielle Perez (102 pounds) and Rogelio Salazar (113 pounds) placed in the top six in state to earn the coveted honors. Salazar won his weight class to be crowned 4A state champion.
The 4A designation in wrestling this year is new. Last year the 4A squads were lumped together with all the 5A schools competing in wrestling.
Danielle Perez (102) received a first round forfeit over Cordova (EP Hanks) and a second round pin over Loren Braun (Richmond George Ranch) to advance to the state semifinals. Perez faced top-ranked Ashlea Vong (Amarillo Caprock), losing 9 to 3. Perez then went to the consolation semifinals and wrestled Elise Coleman (Leander Rouse) and lost a 7 to 0 match.
Wrestling for 5th place, Perez was paired up with Bernadette Duhan (Azle) and lost 11 to 0 and ended up in sixth place.
“Danielle wrestled good the first day to earn All-State honors but hit some buzz saws the later rounds. All-State honors are great, but we expect to do better at next year’s tournament,” said A.C. Jones wrestling coach Terry Foster.
“We definitely have some work this offseason to work on, but I am so proud of her accomplishments this year.”
Rogelio Salazar opened the tournament against Tell Ward (College Station) and easily disposed of him by a score of 16 to 3. Next on the path to the finals was Tanner Kuketz (Argyle) who was the Region II Champion. Salazar wrestled a close match, up to the final period, where he turned on the afterburners and cruised to a 9 to 2 decision. Salazar then faced Taygen Smith (Amarillo) who was the Region I champion in the state semifinals. The match ended in a 4 to 4 tie going into overtime. In the overtime period, Salazar used a outside single leg to secure a takedown and won the semifinal in overtime.
The finals were a rematch of the Region IV finals from two weeks prior when Adrian Barraza (Austin Vandegrift) had defeated Salazar 4 to 2.
In the state finals, Salazar came out and took a 2-point lead with a nice strong double leg takedown and rode Barraza out the rest of the first period. In the second period, Salazar reversed his opponent to take a 4 to 0 lead and continued to ride his opponent until the end of the second period. The final period was all Salazar, and he controlled the tempo and secured his spot as the first Beeville wrestling state champion and Texas’ first 4A wrestling champion in the 113-pound weight class.
“This was a wonderful experience, and the whole Beeville wrestling community enjoyed this victory tonight. I always say, ‘Good things always happen to good people,’ and it did tonight for Rogelio and Danielle,” said Foster.
The Trojans also had a couple of other wrestlers make the trip to compete in Austin. Cordell Aguirre (145 pounds) faced top-ranked Chris Thompson (Canyon Randall) in the opening round. Aguirre wrestled fearlessly and hard, but was eventually pinned by Thompson in the second period.
Aguirre then faced Zane Crow (Humble Kingwood Park). The first period ended in a 2-point tie, but the second period was all Crow where he eventually pinned Aguirre toward the end of the period.
Trojan Brent Puga (195 pounds) faced Jimmy Dawson (Frisco Wakeland), eventual state runner-up, in the opening round and lost 9 to 0. Puga then went to the consolation bracket where he faced Efren Bolanes (El Paso Chaplin) and lost the match by a pin.
“Cordell and Brent wrestled their tails off this weekend but came up short against some very good and more experienced wrestlers. They both will be greatly missed next year, and we will miss their leadership and experience next year,” Foster said.
Beeville finished in 27th place out of 77 teams in the boys’ division, and the Beeville girls finished 31st out of 59 teams.