The Socorro wrestling team’s chances of a threepeat for a district title will have to wait until next year after a physical altercation involving a parent and a Socorro wrestling coach ended the district duals on Saturday at Socorro High School.

Warriors’ head wrestling coach Joel Partridge said that “a melee” broke out during Socorro’s dual against Deming.

“The dual started at 133 pounds and after McNeil (Kadeyn, 139 pounds) won a good decision match — then the Deming kid and his dad flew off the handle. The dad jumped out of the stands, punched, and tackled coach James (McNeil). It turned into a melee, and it was a mess,” Partridge said. “The dad was arrested, and we didn’t complete the duals.”

Eighth-grader Kadeyn McNeil (James’ son) was leading his 139-pound match 3-2 with two seconds remaining and was on top of his opponent when his coaches told McNeil to release him and let the clock run out the match.

“All we had to do was nothing, and we didn’t want him to hit some big roll up or some other move and give up position. The kid led with his head and head-butted Kadeyn, and we were all yelling at the ref about what was going on, and the dad got upset. He ran from the west side of the gym to the east side, and coach McNeil was facing south, and he just kind of cold-cocked him and tackled him, and it was just a melee,” Partridge said.

Matches between Deming and Socorro have been a little heated in the past, but no parent has ever come out of the stands and gotten physical. One witness reported the two men tumbled onto a group of children watching the match, “He pushed him, and they went down to the ground (falling on about half a dozen children), and then the brawl was on.”

Before it was all over, the Socorro Police Department, Socorro County Sheriff’s Department, and New Mexico State Police became involved and 44-year-old Jacob Mendoza was arrested and charged with assault/battery on school personnel.

“We always try not to focus on the negative. We can control what we can control. We had two officials there at the match. We had law enforcement present. I think the school district did a great job. They do a great job at being prepared, of course; who anticipates a father coming out and attacking a coach,” Partridge said.

The incident overshadowed a strong performance by the Warriors, who had victories over Artesia 48-30, Goddard 54-18 and Santa Teresa 42-36.0 (understandably, all results were unavailable). The Warriors also own a victory over Cobre, with an earlier match during the holiday break being declared a district dual.

“I was really happy with our effort. We dropped some matches we shouldn’t have but recovered well from that scenario. We didn’t have a bad attitude about it. I think we banded together as a group and wrestled hard, and I think the kids are focused and doing well,” Partridge said. “

The Warriors’ next step toward the state wrestling tournament is at the regional meet in Belen on Feb. 16-17, and that’s where Partridge wants his athletes focused.

“Right now, you’re battling attrition at this point in the season, so you’re trying to preserve but still get the most out of your wrestlers. It’s a tough juggle because you got to get them healed up, but you need them to wrestle because if they don’t wrestle, they can’t keep their weight down,” Partridge said.

Socorro 48 Artesia 30

133 – Angel Perez (Socorro) over Sam Fodge (Artesia) (Fall 0:30).

139 – Kadeyn McNeil (Socorro) over Porfirio Segura (Artesia) (Fall 1:24).

145 – Patrick Ware Moya (Socorro) over Unknown (For.).

160 – Patrick McBride (Socorro) over Evan Aguirre (Artesia) (Fall 0:56).

215 – Dominic Anaya (Socorro) over Jonah Doporto (Artesia) (Fall 1:43).

285 – David Gutierrez (Socorro) over Ethan Shannon (Artesia) (Fall 0:53).

107 – Marius Lucero (Socorro) over Unknown (For.).

114 – Isiah Estrada (Socorro) over Luke Woolsey (Artesia) (Fall 0:22).

121 – Colt Mozieko (Artesia) over Lucas Lopez Saavedra (Socorro) (Fall 1:13).

127 – Hagan Crockett (Artesia) over Kane Johnson (Socorro) (Fall 2:50).

Socorro 54 Goddard 18

139 – Kadeyn McNeil (Socorro) over Casen Ragsdale (Goddard) (Fall 0:12).

152 – Patrick Ware Moya (Socorro) over Angel Chavez (Goddard) (Fall 2:50).

160 – Garrett Langley (Goddard) over Patrick McBride (Socorro) (Fall 3:01).

215 – Dominic Anaya (Socorro) over Brian Santillan (Goddard) (Fall 1:56).

285 – David Gutierrez (Socorro) over Rodney Ward (Goddard) (Fall 2:22).

107 – Marius Lucero (Socorro) over Jonathan Ortiz (Goddard) (Fall 0:32).

114 – Isiah Estrada (Socorro) over Cooper Bishop (Goddard) (Fall 0:46).

121 – Lucas Lopez Saavedra (Socorro) over Unknown (For.).

127 – Kane Johnson (Socorro) over Deegan Gaston (Goddard) (Fall 0:13).

133 – Angel Perez (Socorro) over Isaac Perez (Goddard) (Fall 1:29).

Socorro 42 Santa Teresa 36

114 – Isiah Estrada (Socorro) over Unknown (For.).

121 – Mark Alarcon (Santa Teresa) over Lucas Lopez Saavedra (Socorro) (Fall 1:57).

127 – Kane Johnson (Socorro) over Ezrah Messer (Santa Teresa) (Fall 0:41).

133 – Angel Perez (Socorro) over Emmanuel Luna (Santa Teresa) (Fall 1:13).

139 – Kadeyn McNeil (Socorro) over Unknown (For.).

145 – Patrick Ware Moya (Socorro) over Kevin Garcia (Santa Teresa) (Fall 1:46).

152 – Hector Reyes (Santa Teresa) over Patrick McBride (Socorro) (Fall 1:44).

160 – Isiah Sanchez (Santa Teresa) over Unknown (For.).

172 – Adriel Vargas (Santa Teresa) over Unknown (For.).

189 – Diego Serrano (Santa Teresa) over Unknown (For.).

215 – Tristan Crosby (Santa Teresa) over Dominic Anaya (Socorro) (Fall 0:18).

285 – David Gutierrez (Socorro) over Donovan Ramirez (Santa Teresa) (Fall 1:06).

107 – Marius Lucero (Socorro) over Unknown (For.).