If the success of a pair of Rim Country Middle School wrestlers is any indication, Longhorn coach Dave LaMotte will soon have heavyweights with the ability to post plenty of points on the board.
This season, RCMS eighth-graders Kevin Allen and Donald Engler have proved themselves to be two of the best grapplers in the heavier divisions of White Mountain League competition.
Wrestling in the heavyweight classification, the 220-pound Allen finished as the WML champion. During the course of the campaign, he posted a 12-0 mark and was voted by junior high/middle school coaches as the outstanding wrestler in the heavyweight classes (133-pounds to heavyweight).
Winning the crown was a huge accomplishment for the youngster who, as a seventh-grade wrestler, struggled to finish with a break-even mark. He eventually finished fifth in his weight division.
This year's improvement, Allen said, was because he "worked hard, listened to the coaches and had a great partner."
The wrestling partner he was referring to was Engler who wrestled season-long in the 180-pound WML division.
Engler advanced through the regular season unbeaten before losing a controversial decision to a St. Johns wrestler in the gold medal round of the league tournament.
The controversy centered around the fact Engler appeared to have recorded several reversals that the meet official did not acknowledge.
Nonetheless, Engler finished as the WML runner-up with a 12-1 record.
In addition to excelling in wrestling, both teenagers were members of the RCMS eighth-grade football team that played its way to an undefeated season and a first-place finish in league play.
Both say they are eagerly looking forward to high school where they can showcase their skills in prep competition.