For more than a decade, Robertson has used the district wrestling tournament as a springboard to glory in the state championship competition.
The Cardinals have won three straight state titles and six of the last seven.
RHS is again a favorite in the District 1A-3A duals, set to begin around 9 a.m. Saturday in Tucumcari.
Daniel Martinez (152) has earned a slew of Outstanding Wrestler honors at various tournaments and is a two-time state champ as a sophomore.
Wally Diaz (140) has three state titles to his credit and is in his senior campaign.
Those two are but a couple of team leaders on a talented group coached by Richard Martinez. David Rael was a state runner-up as a frosh. Miguel Garcia, Dmitri Almanzar, Estevan Vigil , Joseph Dominguez, Troy Estrada and Zach Silva have all had particularly good showings.
But because of the Cardinals’ relative youthfulness and lack of wrestlers at the higher weight classes, and a number of very good grapplers expected to be fielded by rival schools, the outcome is far from a gimme.
St. Michael’s has a full lineup that includes contender Jake Winter and Anthony Cantu.
Tucumcari, the tourney host, is especially tough at heavyweight (Leroy Sena) and 103 (Raymond Jimenez). Sena made it to the finals of the Cardinal Classic, losing only to Belen star Tyler East.
West Las Vegas is led by John Armijo, favored at 171. Mike Jaramillo (140) placed at state last season. Conrad Mares, Jayvis Medrano and Rosendo “Ross” Valdez have wrestled well in recent weeks.
Pecos’ Jonathan Torrez (135) made a final for the Panthers in the Cardinal Classic.
And Peñasco, while hurt by the loss of perennial state contender Dylan Dominguez to Española Valley, has some solid grapplers.
The state tourney runs the following weekend, Feb. 20-21, at the Santa Ana Star Center in Rio Rancho.