ROCKFORD - Learning from mistakes made last year, the Mabton Vikings wrestling team fared much better this year at the Freeman Tourney, finishing in third place, with 148 points, out of 12 teams.
"Last year we did poorly here because we participated in another tournament two days prior to this one," Mabton Wrestling Coach John Kilian said.
This time Mabton's wrestlers didn't burn themselves out before hand and wrestled much better.
"We did really well," Kilian said. "The kids fought hard."
East Valley's JV team ended up winning the tournament with a score of 173 points.
Mabton's Robert Marquez was the only Viking wrestler to win his weight division. Marquez finished in first place in the 215-lb. class.
Luis Aviles, wrestling at 112 pounds, finished second to the defending 1A state champion, Danny Matthews from Freeman High School. Aviles ended up losing by a technical fall in the title bout.
"Luis gave the state champ a couple of good rounds," Kilian said. "He put him on his back a few times and state champs don't like to be put on their backs."
Three Viking grapplers finished third in their weight classes.
Eric Meza took third in the 103-lb. class. Andy Torres placed third at 125 lbs. and Eli Perez was third at 189 lbs.
Overall the Mabton coach was quite pleased with his team's performance.
"I'm very proud of the effort they put out," he said. "We wrestled hard all day."