Dream season for Diaz

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By Dave Kavanaugh

As head coach of the Robertson wrestling team, Richard Martinez has congratulated more than his share of Cardinal grapplers for winning a state title.

But being able to embrace Wally Diaz after the RHS senior won at 145 lbs. meant added emotion.

“It was special,” Martinez said. “Wally’s like a son to me ... He’s a great kid; he deserves it.  ... I’m gonna miss Wally. He’s a stud. He’s tough.”

Diaz added another accolade to his personal trophy case — one of the few filled with four individual state championships — this past week, when he was named to the New Mexico Dream Team for wrestling. A state coaches’ association selects the top grapplers at each weight, regardless of school classification, making the Dream Team a de-facto all-state lineup.

Diaz joins longtime friend Jake Martinez — one of Richard and Leasa Martinez’s three all-star sons — as a Dream Team honoree. Jake, who graduated in 2008, made it twice.


For more, please see the weekend edition of the Optic in print.