ROYAL — The good news is the Columbia Basin has not seen the last of Washington State Wrestling Coaches Association Hall of Fame coach Ruben Martinez. The bad news is that Martinez is sidelined with some medical issues for the next couple of weeks.
Ruben Martinez’s name is synonymous with Othello wrestling, but the longtime Huskies coach has shifted over to Royal this season where he’ll take over for Knights coach Patrick Mitchell. Once a coach, always a coach and Martinez is back in the saddle with a pretty talented lineup that goes into the 2018-19 season ranked seventh in the Washington Wrestling Report preseason 1A poll.
Royal assistant Alex Myrick just sort of nodded and smiled at the idea of working with a Hall of Fame coach in Martinez.
“Ruben brings in so much experience on the sport and I look forward to working and learning from him,” Myrick said. “We’re stronger at the top of the lineup because we have some young guys at the lower weights. We return seven guys that have wrestled at the (Tacoma) Dome, so we’re looking to strengthen our lineup and make another run at the championship this year.”
The Knights have some holes in the lineup they will fill with guys that just finished the football season. But they go into the year ranked seventh in the 1A poll with No. 1-ranked Daniel Bonilla (145) and second-ranked Dominic Martinez (113) and heavyweight Ryder Eilers.
Myrick said the Royal leadership is a lot like the school’s other programs, more of a lead by example group.
“Dominic Martinez is definitely a leader. I like Daniel Bonilla to help lead in the room,” he said. “We have a bunch of hard-working kids that lead by example.”