Eagle Valley wrestling enjoyed its visit to near-Kansas this weekend.
The bus should be back in the next few days from Lamar, site of this weekend’s Class 3A Region 4 Tournament. And then the Devils will just turn said bus around and head to Denver. Eagle Valley wrestling’s OK with this.
When you finish second at regionals and are sending eight to the Pepsi Center for the state tournament, you’re good with frequent bus miles.
“I’m pretty pumped up,” Devils coach Melvin Valdez said from somewhere on the Eastern Plains. “The guys worked really hard and are peaking at the right time. I’m ready to get these guys some hardware.”
Matthew Medina (106 pounds) and Lucas Comroe (138) are regional champions. Both are stories of redemption.
Medina entered last year’s regional meet at the No. 5-ranked wrestler at 106 in the state. He lost in wrestle-backs, falling short of the state tourney. Now a senior, the 106-pounder left no doubt.
Comroe was second at 132 last year. One year and six pounds later, the senior has added regional champ to his accomplished resume.
Comroe and Cody Ponce (220) will return to the Pepsi Center where both finished second last winter. We’re just assuming that those finishes have been driving them for the last 51 weeks.
Ponce was second at 220, while Logan Stephens (113), Manuel Heredia (132) Brian Garcia (190) punched their tickets with third-place finishes.
And, if you’ve ever been to a regional tournament, preferably one that isn’t on the Kansas border, you know the real drama is in the wrestle-backs.
At 152, Jason Morrison had a nail-biter against Florence’s Jacob Kennedy. With fourth place and the last ticket to state, Morrison edged Kennedy, 6-5.
“Jason just had no quit,” Valdez said. “And that’s what won him the match.”
The last match of the regional was for fourth place at 120. Devils senior Josh Boeke trailed Sierra’s Darryl Mills by as many as three points during his match. Boeke rallied for a 9-8 win.
“That shook the whole gym,” Valdez said.
Huskies send three
Instant replay: Battle Mountain’s Jeremiah Vasquez (heavyweight), Victor Ortiz (152 pounds) and Anthony Sanchez (160) are making repeat trips to the Pepsi Center after this weekend’s CHSAA 4A Region 2 Tournament in Broomfield.
“We’re pretty happy the way the boys performed,” Battle Mountain coach Angelo Vasquez said. “We knew we had a tough region with tough teams. We have three days of cardio and technical wrestling, and we’re off to Denver.”
The younger Vasquez finished second, suffering a late pin by Broomfield’s Tyler Carpenter. Don’t be surprised if those two meet again at the Pepsi Center. Anthony Sanchez took second at 160 pounds, and Victor Ortiz was third at 152.
While there are only three in black and gold going, one cannot underestimate the experience the three hold, having already been to state.
As much a one can do the whole Gene Hackman thing of measuring the court with a tape measure as done in “Hoosiers,” there is no replicating the experience of wrestling on the big stage.