GYPSUM - They pound on each other during practice and then they go out and pound on the competition.
Devils wrestlers Andy Armstrong (220 pounds) and Ty LaFramboise (195) picked up titles at Saturday's Eagle Valley Invitational. Those finishes helped the Devils tie for second with Hotchkiss behind tournament winner, Meeker.
Tournament announcer Mark Strakbein joked that the team's head coaches could wrestle each other to break the tie.
"We had that," Eagle Valley coach Robn Beach joked about his Hotchkiss counterpart. "I don't need the plaque."
Both Armstrong and LaFramboise wrestled like they wanted to leave the tournament quickly and get to a television to watch the Broncos game. Both were 3-0 and all six of their combined wins were pins. Armstrong took care of Lake County's Aaron Medina in his final, while LaFramboise only needed 78 seconds to finish North Park's Adrian Cereceres.
Aside from winning, Armstrong and LaFramboise have two other things in common - they work out against each other in practice and have state-tournament aspirations.
"He's just a good wrestler," Armstrong said of LaFramboise. "He's placed at state, too. It's nice to have him come in and help me out."
Armstrong was fifth at the 4A tournament last February at 220 pounds. A few mats over at the Pepsi Center, LaFramboise was taking third at the same weight class for 2A Norwood.
Now at 195 and clearly comfortable at any classification, LaFramboise could just as well be speaking for Armstrong when he said, "Last year at state just makes me angry. I know I should have been in the final."
The duo had plenty of company with good finishes. Eagle Valley's Chris Comroe finished second at 120. Rafael Gurule was fourth at 126. Riley Rowles knocked off Coal Ridge's Christian Keith, 10-4, for third at 152 pounds. Cole Nielsen lost a heartbreaker in the 170-pound championship to Buena Vista's Keegan Wentz, 3-2.
"Not bad," Beard said. "That's a good after-Christmas tournament to get the kids back. We've got lots of stuff to work on."
Battle Mountain had two placers. Freddy Morales finished third at 120 pounds and Alex Ramirez was fourth at 182.
Sports Editor Chris Freud can be reached at 970-748-2934 or firstname.lastname@example.org.