GYPSUM — Davis Ward, 13, wanted his brother’s name in the paper.
The kid didn’t need to worry. Devils junior Devin Ward and senior Rafael Gurule both won titles during Saturday’s Eagle Valley Invitational in Gypsum as the hosts finished second with 172 points behind only Cedaredge (178.5)
“It’s pretty awesome in front of all my friends,” said Ward, who went 4-0 at 180 pounds. “I like it.”
Ward has only one loss — at the Warrior Classic this past month, no less — on his record this year, and is gunning for state. He’s trying to follow in the footsteps of Andy Armstrong who won a state title this past season.
“I worked with him a lot last year,” Ward said. “He’s been a real influence on my wrestling.”
As for Gurule’s win at 145 pounds, Devils coach Ron Beard couldn’t have been more pleased.
“I’m really proud of Rafa Gurule at 145,” Beard said. “He’s a senior and he’s wrestled so hard. His career at Eagle Valley’s been spent in the weights with defending state champs and always in the mix of the toughest guys. He’s earned his his first place here.”
Eagle Valley had a very solid day in numerous divisions. Noah Hermosillo (106), Davey Madrid (160) and Trever LaFromboise (120) all battled back from first-round losses to finish third in their classes. Raul Lopez (113), Chris Comroe (126), Ruben Chagoya (152) and Xavier Mendoza (heavyweight) finished second.
“We stick with what we’re doing,” Beard said. “We looked like we had a long Christmas break down at Rifle (in a trangular) the other day. Today, we got back into our persona, which is we’re pinners.”
There were lots of circles in Beard’s scorebook after the day was done, including Gurule’s pin of Hotchkiss’ Wade Katzdom in the finals. Gurule was trailing, 4-0, when he turned the tide.
“I was down by four, and just worked my moves and took it to him,” he said. “It feels nice to defend our territory.”
Battle Mountain finished eighth on Saturday. Alex Ramirez was second at 195 pounds, while Collin Stilson took fourth at 106.
Sports Editor Chris Freud can be reached at 970-748-2934 and firstname.lastname@example.org.