EDWARDS - If they meet in a spirited match of tic-tac-toe, Jenga or underwater jai alai, it's a big deal. So please let the record note that Eagle Valley wrestling made short work of Battle Mountain, 66-12, for bragging rights Tuesday night in Edwards.
A rivalry win is always good, but the Devils were not an elated bunch because they fell to Slope power Palisade, 48-33. (The Huskies also bowed to the Bulldogs, 57-24).
"For sure, it's good (to beat Battle Mountain, but the night's not happy still because we lost to Palisade," Devils senior Cole Nielsen said. "I feel like they are a really good team. Honestly, I don't think any of us wrestled our best tonight. I think if we all had the mindset that we could beat Palisade, then we would have."
Please note that was coming from a guy who won both his matches with pins in Tuesday's tri.
In fairness, the gap between Eagle Valley and Palisade, one of the best wrestling programs in 4A, is closing. When seniors like Nielsen and Andy Armstrong were freshmen three years ago, the Bulldogs took 13 of 14 bouts in their 2010 dual.
With this year's matchup starting at 182 pounds, the Devils were starting in the heart of their lineup. Ty LaFramboise, Joey Sanchez and Armstrong built up a 15-0 lead. But Palisade coach Brian Rush adjusted his grapplers astutely, moving his 220-pounder Armando Cabriales to 285 pounds, ceding a forfeit win to Armstrong. Instead of wasting Cabriales likely to Armstrong, Cabriales picked up a win at heavyweight against Eagle Valley's Xavier Mendoza, and then the Bulldogs pretty much had their way with the Devils at the lower weights.
From heavyweight through the flip in weight classes to 126 pounds, Palisade won five matches in a row by pin and that was the margin.
"There were a couple of times, that if we get the killer instinct, we get the fall or the back points," Devils coach Ron Beard said. "I think that was a mental block against Palisade. We had an opportunity in a couple of matches where we could have put a kid to their back. When we didn't that opportunity, they took us to our back and finished the deal."
Beard did see that "killer instinct" against Battle Mountain as the Devils had nine pins in the 12 contested matches against the Huskies.
As for Battle Mountain, the Huskies faced an uphill battle against two stacked opponents, but had their moments. First and foremost, the Huskies are, by and large, filling their weight classes. That's the first step in being competitive in duals.
The Huskies also won three bouts each against Palisade and Eagle Valley, including a 2-0 night from 120-pounder Freddy Morales.
"We have a real young team," Huskies coach Brian Diffley said. "We saw our kids trying moves. They did what they know, and that's all we ask of them - try their moves, try to have fun and work hard out there. We've seen a lot of improvement over the year."
Eagle Valley hosts Rifle in dual action Thursday night at 6, and then both local teams head to the Northglenn Tournament this weekend.
Sports Editor Chris Freud can be reached at 970-748-2934 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Palisade 48, Eagle Valley 33
182 - Ty LaFramboise, Eagle Valley d. Braxton Stewart, Palisade, 8-4
195 - Joey Sanchez, Eagle Valley pins Cade Porter, Palisade, 1:06
220 - Andy Armstrong, Eagle Valley, forfeit
285 -Armando Cabriales, Palisade pins Xavier Mendoza, Eagle Valley, 2:41
106 -Randon Espinoza, Palisade pins Jay Bullock, Eagle Valley, 1:18
113 -Kyuana Martinez, Palisade pins Connor McGillvray, Eagle Valley, 0:45
120 - Quinn Day, Palisade, pins Lane Dobransky, Eagle Valley, 0:41
126 - Dalton Hannigan, Palisade pins Chris Comroe, Eagle Valley, 5:58
132 - Rafael Gurule, Eagle Valley pins Tristen Holmes, Palisade, 0:28
138 - Justin Ray, Palisade, pins Branden Ehman, Eagle Valley, 3:52
145 - Caleb Clarkson, Palisade pins Keifer Kaufman, Eagle Valley, 1:34
152 - Erick Wilson, Palisade pins Davey Madrid, Eagle Valley, 2:25
160 - Andrew Vigil, Eagle Valley pins D. J. Garner, Palisade, 2:56
170 - Cole Nielsen, Eagle Valley, pins Zane Stewart, Palisade, 5:49
Palisade 57, Battle Mountain 24
195 - Heivan Garcia, Battle Mountain pins Cade Porter, Palisade. 4:45
220 - Armando Cabriales, Palisade, pins Luis Aguirre, Battle Mountain, 3:33
285 - Santos Macias, Battle Mountain pins Anselmo Quesada, Palisade, 1:13
103 - Randon Espinoza, Palisade, pins Collin Stilson, Battle Mountain, 1:48
113 - Kyuana Martinez, Palisade, forfeit
120 - Freddy Morales, Battle Mountain pins Quinn Day, Palisade, 0:34
126 - Dalton Hannigan, Palisade, pins Michael El-Bitar, Battle Mountain, 3:00
132 - Tristen Holmes, Palisade, pins Kenny Vargas, Battle Mountain, 1:32
138 - Justin Ray, Palisade, forfeit
145 - Caleb Clarkson, Palisade, pins Wyatt Harwood, Battle Mountain, 3:14
152 - Erick Wilson, Palisade d. Hector Aguirre, Battle Mountain, 14-7
160 - D.J. Garner, Palisade, forfeit
170 - Zane Stewart, Palisade, pins David Casas, Battle Mountain, 1:59
182 - Alex Ramirez, Battle Mountain, forfeit
Eagle Valley 66, Battle Mountain 12
220 - Joey Sanchez, Eagle Valley, pins Luis Aguirre, Battle Mountain, 2:42
285 - Andy Armstrong, Eagle Valley pins Santos Macias, Battle Mountain, 0:24
106 - Collin Stilson, Battle Mountain d. Jay Bullock, Eagle Valley, 7-2
113 - Conner McGillvray, Eagle Valley, forfeit
120 - Freddy Morales, Battle Mountain, pins Lane Dobransky, Eagle Valley, 3:59
126 - Chris Comroe, Eagle Valley, pins Michael El-Bitar, Battle Mountain, 0:58
132 - Rafael Gurule, Eagle Valley, pins Kenny Vargas, Battle Mountain, 0:51
138 - Branden Ehman, Eagle Valley, forfeit
145 -Wyatt Harwood, Battle Mountain, d. Jay Neal, Eagle Valley, 12-8
152 - Davey Madrid, Eagle Valley pins Hector Aguirre, Battle Mountain, 2:32
160 - Andrew Vigil, Eagle Valley, forfeit
170 - Devin Ward, Eagle Valley, pins David Casas, Battle Mountain, 2:33
182 - Cole Nielsen, Eagle Valley pins Alex Ramirez, Battle Mountain, 1:38
195 - Ty LaFramboise, Eagle Valley, pins Heivan Garcia, Battle Mountain, 1:35