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Lady Raider wrestling wins second at state duels tournament

Alex Ruiz, Staff Writer

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The Lady Raider wrestling team was formed four years ago by longtime Randall coach David Quirino, more notoriously known as “Coach Q” by the wrestling team. The process it took Coach Q to convince CISD to allow a girls wrestling team at Randall was not an easy one, but he never gave up, and now that determination is paying off in numerous ways. The Lady Raider wrestling team that started their journey in 2013 with just four girls has undergone a dramatic change in the short amount of time they’ve been a team from competing, and losing in local duels to sending Lady Raiders to compete at state, and winning state titles.

Junior Jade Larsen, who has had a longtime passion for the sport of wrestling, has been there every step of the way.

“I would have never imagined the team to be where it is now, but I couldn’t be more thankful that I got be apart of the process,” Larsen said.

Aside from practicing and working out every day during, after, or before school with the team, Larsen also enjoys working out with friends, and teammates on the weekends or “off days” at local gyms such as Nick’s Fight Club.

The now 20 members of the Lady Raider team competed in a notable state-wide tournament this past weekend known as the Texas High School Wrestling Coaches Association State Duels Tournament. The prestigious tournament was an invite only event, and with the Lady Raiders dominating many teams around the area such as Tascosa and Caprock, the chances of them not being invited to such an event was slim. The Randall team was among some of the biggest schools in the state of Texas, and the Ladies left with a second place title as a 5A team.

“The fact that we were one of the smaller schools there and left with such a huge title blows my mind,” Larsen said. “I think we owe it all to an amazing coach and the unbreakable bond us girls share on the team.”

This was the first time Randall has been invited to this event. Although the Lady Raider wrestling team won second in the tournament, their season is not over just yet. The ladies will have to compete four more times including this weekend in a tournament in Vernon, Texas before competing for individual spots in district on Feb. 11, which will take place at Randall High School. This is the tournament that the girls will have the chance to advance to regionals and fight for a spot for an individual state title on Feb. 22-25 in Houston.

“Like many of the girls on the team I want a spot to compete at state more than anything,” Larsen said. “I won’t stop until I get it.”

The district tournament will be held at Randall, and is just one of the many examples of how much progress Coach Q and the girls have made as a team over the years. Larsen hopes to get the opportunity to take her passion to the next level just like her fellow teammate.

“My goal for the future is to have a successful senior season, and hopefully catch the eyes of a college coach,” Larsen said.

The next chance to watch the Lady Raider’s battle it out on the mats locally will be on Feb. 2 as they compete in a tournament held at Randall High School.

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Lady Raider wrestling wins second at state duels tournament