Eagle Valley heads to regionals, eyeing state | VailDaily.com

Eagle Valley heads to regionals, eyeing state

Time to ride.

It's regional wrestling time for Eagle Valley, and the Devils are heading to Denver West on Friday and Saturday for the Class 3A Region 3 tournament.

The goal is simple — finish in the top four and take your ticket to the Pepsi Center and the state tournament.

"If our kids wrestle like they're capable, we're going to bring a bunch to state," Devils coach Luke Cross said. "I'm not going to say a number."

The state placers

While Cross can be coy about these things, Raul Lopez (132 pounds) and Noah Hermosillo (138) are probably part of that number. Both placed at state last year — Lopez took third at 138 pounds and Hermosillo fourth at 132.

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In an interesting bit of trivia, the two switched weights because Lopez broke his jaw over the summer, thus he moved down six pounds and Hermosillo went up. This is not a recommended way of losing weight, by the way.

All Hermosillo's done this year is go 37-1. The one would be Centauri's Quinton Montague at a tourney in Florence, and he's wrestling over in Region 1 at Buena Vista the weekend. No one ever looks ahead to state, but Montague and Hermosillo are 1-2 in onthemat.com's 3A 132-pound rankings.

Lopez was a little slow coming back from that broken jaw, so he is "only" 13-4. His four losses are to state placers by two or fewer points, which is a way of saying that he's back.

As practice has ramped up this week, these are the two who have set the tone in the Gypsum gym.

"Noah and Raul and all of our five seniors bring that quality to the room," Cross said. "It's not just technique, but hard work and mental fortitude. If our kids emulate how out seniors work, we're on the right track."

In addition to Hermosillo and Lopez, the Devils seniors are Caleb Laisure (145), Justin Morrison (160, down from 170) and Gabe Baldwin (195).

The youngsters

While Region 3 isn't a region in geographic sense, it's worth noting that Alamosa, the No. 1-ranked team in 3A, according to onthemat.com, and Platte Valley (No. 5) are in the field. Eagle Valley at No. 13 is not exactly chopped liver.

However, the path to state will likely go through athletes from Alamosa and Platte Valley.

Eagle Valley sophomore Luke Morrissey (106 pounds) is 30-7 this year. His path to a regional title likely includes Alamosa's Elijah DeLaCerda.

At 113 pounds, Devils freshman Lucas Comroe is 30-9. While seeds for the Region 3 tournament aren't out, Isaiah DeLaCerda … of Alamosa … happens to be No. 1-ranked, according to onthemat.com.

Sophomore Davis Ward is penciled in at 152 pounds and ready to go. Like the Comroes, the Wards are a wrestling family at Eagle Valley.

News and notes

Heavyweight J.P. Velasco might have the toughest draw. "If he can get to state, he can bring home some hardware," Cross said. … Sophomore 182-pounder Marco Rodriguez may only be 12-10, but Cross describes him as "a tornado."

In addition to Alamosa and Platte Valley, Region 3 includes Alameda, Conifer, Denver West, Englewood, Faith Christian, Middle Park, Mullen, Platte Canyon, Sheridan, Skyview, Steamboat Springs and Summit County.

Sports Editor Chris Freud can be reached at 970-748-2934, cfreud@vaildaily.com and @cfreud.