Devils’ Comroe, Ponce make state wrestling finals
Eagle Valley in third at state
DENVER — And now for longest wait ever.
One wrestles for a whole season and has three bouts at the state tournament in two days and then gets to wait for 24 hours for the biggest match in a lifetime.
Eagle Valley’s Lucas Comroe (126 pounds) and Cody Ponce (220) are waiting … and waiting … and waiting for Saturday’s state finals at the 3A state tournament at the Pepsi Center in Denver.
Comroe advanced to wrestling’s biggest stage by pinning Valley’s Zach Brown in 2 minutes, 28 seconds, and then throttled Alamosa’s Colton Liddell, 19-6, for a major decision. About the only thing wrong in Comroe’s world is that he won’t face Jefferson’s Andrew Sansbum, his arch-nemesis, in the final.
Comroe will doubtless find motivation against Lamar’s Zane Rankin.
Ponce will also be in the March of Champions, the procession before the state-title matches on Saturday night. The Devils’ 220-pounder edged out a 3-2 decision against Fort Morgan’s James Hochanadel and pinned Bayfield Daviel Westbrook in the semifinals.
Ponce will line up against Salida’s Eli Smith on Saturday night.
As of press time Friday night, Eagle Valley was in third place as a team in Class 3A with 79 points behind Alamosa (103.5) and Eaton (89).
Fighting for the podium
At 120 pounds, the Devils’ Luke Morrisey started the day by dominating Alamosa’s Kason Smith in a technical fall, 20-4. For the uninitiated, a bout gets stopped when a wrestler is leading by 15 points or more.
Morrissey advanced to the semifinals but fell to Lamar’s Ethan Andrade, 7-3. The Eagle Valley senior is still alive in the double-elimination tournament and will try to work his way back to the podium on Saturday.
Eagle Valley freshman Kodi Raper was eliminated from the 126-pound bracket with a pin at the hands of Fort Morgan’s Brendan Jones. While it’s disappointing now, Raper has gained invaluable experience just qualifying for the state tournament as a freshman.
At 138 pounds, Ryder Bossow fell out of the championship side of the draw with a 4-0 loss to Fort Morgan’s Cael Langford. However, Bossow bounced back, edging Lamar’s Walker Kee. Not only do Bossow and other Devils want to make the podium in wrestle-backs, but their wins add to the team total in points.
After losing his first-round match, Eagle Valley’s 160-pounder, Noah Baldwin, recorded pins of Brush’s Chase Bennett and Olathe’s Wyatt Mansker and is still medal-hunting in Denver.
The Devils’ Davis Ward qualified for the semis Friday with a second-period pin of Bennett’s Mason Wakeham. However, Glenwood Springs’ Amos Wilson bested Ward with a pin in the Final Four. Ward will have to regroup for wrestle-backs.
Melina Valsecia said her experience as an immigrant in Eagle County helped her understand the need for a new way of looking at how service providers engage with the growing Latino population, many of whom are first- or second-generation immigrants.