The Warrirors boys and girls wrestlers, as well as the coaches led by Joel Partridge, honoring Sammy Vivian before the early January match.
Greg Byrd | El Defensor Chieftain photos


It was a showdown of eight teams on the boys side and eleven on the girls side as Socorro hosted its Sammy Vivian Invitational on January 15. Schools able to come to the hometown event included Tucumcari, Bernalillo, Highland, Las Cruces, Manzano, Miyamura, Pojaque Valley, Cleveland, Taos, St. Michael’s and Tierra Encantado.

“We’ve had this event every year,” Warriors head coach Joel Partridge said. “We just renamed it this year in honor of coach Sammy Vivian who started the program with myself and several other coaches and introduced us to wrestling. He’s still around and he’s 74 years young. We consider him the godfather of wrestling here in our community.”

Having set up six mats for the multiple schools, coach Partridge went into the event optimistic for his team’s chances of winning.

“You know it’s hard to tell,” he said. “We’ve had a hard time putting a full team out there due to dealing with injury bugs. But I think the effort is there, which is what is most important to me. We plan to go deep into the playoffs and I think our crew is starting to hit our stride.”

Before players went at it one-on-one, teammates faced off against each other. Players ran laps around the gym floor. Las Cruces head coach Kevin Marks was excited to have his team compete in front of the packed stadium.

It was a tough battle on the mat for the Warriors wrestling team during the Invitational.

“Our girls particularly are doing very well,” he said. “Their success last year brought in a large group of first year wrestlers. We had four girls place last week at Cleveland who are first year wrestlers. They’re still learning. Coming to Socorro this is going to be a good measuring tool for us going forward.”

The Socorro team was poised and ready for the meet, sitting in its student section. Chailynn Amaro is a 126 class competitor for Socorro. This was her second tournament of the season.

“Everything is good right now,” she said. “I’m at the point where I walk around at my weight, so I don’t really have to lose anything. Just eat healthy and go to practice. Today, of course the guys will do good. Us girls just need to believe that we can do good in every match.”

Before the 10 a.m. start, Partridge did a speech that included Sammy Vivian amongst the local wrestlers. The visiting teams showed respect for the former coach. Miyamura head coach Nate Sellers expressed his admiration for the event as well as the competition his team was about to try and take down.

“We’re missing some dawgs today and we’re just trying to be safe. If anybody has sniffles or what not, we want to make sure the team is OK. But we have several undefeated wrestlers we are bringing to Socorro, both boys and girls, and guaranteed they are in for a fight.”

Championship wrestler Trey Partridge did not have his best day on the mat with a third place finish. He did however win in the afternoon match against Cleveland senior Tristan Dodd in a close one 9-8.

The Warriors next matchup will be on January 25 during the Belen tournament.


Terell Padilla; 113. 4th place.

Angel Perez; 126. 1st place.

Joel Partridge Junior; 132. 3rd place.

Patrick Woods; 145. 4th place.

Sean McNeil; 152. 1st place.

Orion Rottman; 182. 1st place.


Patrick Woods at 145.

Terrell Padilllda at 113.

Angel Perez at 126.

Joel Partridge III at 132.

Patrick Woods at 145.

Sean McNeil at 152.

Warren Kurtnaker at


Orion Rottman at 182.