Devils, Huskies wrestlers have great first day at state
February 18, 2016
DENVER — Eagle Valley's dynamic duo is off to a great start at the 3A state wrestling tournament after Day 1 on Thursday.
Noah Hermosillo (126 pounds) and Raul Lopez (132) both won their openers and are advancing to Friday's quarterfinals.
Hermosillo made quick work of Middle Park's Blake Weimer, pinning him in 1:44. Hermosillo, the No. 4 seed, will face Bennett's Garrett Miller today in the quarters. Miller recorded an upset on Thursday, knocking off No. 5-ranked Paul Cooksey of Weld Central, 10-7.
By seed, this could be a break for Hermosillo, but, this remains the state tournament and one goes on the assumption that everyone's very good.
Lopez outlasted Weld Central's Lyle Cooksey, 2-1 — it apparently was a bad day for that family. All kidding aside, what is encouraging to see for Lopez is that he went the whole six minutes and emerged triumphant, having returned to action only last week at regionals after a back injury. That's no small feat.
Lopez gets Kyler Bailey of Bethoud today.
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The championship quarterfinals start at 10 a.m. on Friday.
Congratulations also go out to Eagle Valley's Sterling Winnegrad. The Devils wrestler, who has cerebral palsy, has wrestled with the team during the regular season. Eagle Valley athletic director Tamara Payne and CHSAA assistant commissioner Harry Waterman worked to find Winnegrad an exhibition match at the state meet, and it's a go.
Winnegrad will wrestle an match on the floor of the Pepsi Center before Friday night's semifinals. Good luck, kid.
Morales, Harwood advance for Huskies
Battle Mountain's Wyatt Harwood probably logged the biggest surprise of the first round for local wrestlers by winning his state debut on Friday night at 170 pounds down in Denver.
With no disrespect to Eagle Valley's Hermsillo or Lopez or to his teammate Jesus Morales (132 pounds), Harwood defeated Roosevelt's Jacob Howell, 4-2.
Hermosillo, Lopez and Morales have combined for nine state appearances, so they're used to the circus that is the Pepsi Center.
Harwood, the state rookie, is moving on to the quarters and a date with Alameda's Fabian Estrada on Friday.
Morales took care of things on his end efficiently, blanking Discovery Canyon's Patrick Hanna, 12-0. Morales gets Niwot's Tommy Stager on Friday.
The Huskies' Colin Stilson fell out of the championship bracket on Thursday with a 6-0 loss to Pueblo Centennial's Darlan Manzanares. Stilson still can make it big weekend by wrestling back. He faces Niwot's Alex Gazdik in the consolation bracket.
Sports Editor Chris Freud can be reached at 970-748-2934, email@example.com and @cfreud.
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