Battle Mountain wrestling nabs podiums in Soroco
OAK CREEK — So what does a coach do?
You’ve got two wrestlers in a tournament final. Obviously, you can’t root for one. How do you coach both at the same time?
That was Battle Mountain wrestling coach Angelo Vasquez’s good problem last weekend, when he had the Huskies’ Mario Delara and Humberto Estrada face each other in the 132-pound finals at the Soroco tourney.
“You basically let them wrestle and try to give them both advice,” Vasquez said. “If one guy’s in a position, you try to help him out. The same goes for the other guy. Mostly, you’re proud they’re both in the final.”
Delara ended up pinning Estrada, but, more importantly, Battle Mountain wrestling had four podiums up in Oak Creek last weekend.
Arturo Macias is back in action after a knee injury at 195 pounds and took third on Saturday. He was 8-0 last year before getting injured, so he’s a welcome addition to the Huskies.
“Getting hurt like that could scare a guy away from the mat,” Vasquez said. “To have a guy come back and wrestle like that makes a coach happy.”
Demetrio Velasco is pretty much a new wrestler for the Huskies. A heavyweight last year, he’s now at 220. It’s a whole different ball game for Velasco, but he’s adapted, taking third in Oak Creek.
“It’s definitely different. There’s more speed,” Vasquez said. “You have to have more confidence in your shots. You’re wrestling lower, and you’ve got to protect your legs.”
Other highlights of the weekend included Alexis Rico winning some matches at 138 and nearly making the consolation semifinals.
Battle Mountain hosts Glenwood Springs today in a dual at 6 p.m.
Devils duel and do well in duals
Eagle Valley wrestling went 5-2 last week between a triangular against Battle Mountain and Palisade and a tourney of duals on Saturday at Grand Junction.
As expected, the Devils handled Battle Mountain, but the big news from the triangular was a 40-36 win over Palisade. That is always welcome news in Gypsum.
Down in Junction, Eagle Valley topped a 5A school called Fruita Monument, 44-32. Maybe, the team’s former coach Ron Beard has heard of it. The Devils got the better of 5A Arvada West, 42-39, an impressive win given that team won the 5A title two years ago.
Eagle Valley rolled Grand Junction’s JV and got rolled by the host’s varsity squad. The latter is not cause for worry as the Tigers are ranked No. 2 in 5A this year. In 3A action, the Devils fell to Moffat County, 39-31, while giving up forfeits in two weight classes. Expect Eagle Valley’s and Moffat’s paths to cross again this season.
At 138 pounds, Noah Hermosillo has a target on his back, but he’s handling it to the tune of a 12-0 record so far.
“He trains like a mad man,” Devils coach Luke Cross said.
Luke Morrissey is looking razor sharp at 106. His only loss in this run of duals was to a Grand Junction grappler, who’s ranked No. 3 among 5A 106-pounders.
Davis Ward (170) went 5-2 as he continues to enjoy good health as a senior. At 120, Lucas Comroe took his first losses, but that’s a good learning experience for the freshman.
With some typical early season absences in some weight classes, freshman Sean Marquez, normally a 120-pounder, wrestled at 132 last weekend. That was a tough assignment.
“We pretty much threw him to the wolves,” Cross said. “He took some bumps, but wrestled tough.”
With Christmas break approaching, that means it’s time for the Warrior Classic in Grand Junction, a traditional fixture for Devils wrestling. This meet attracts the best of multiple states in the Rockies and doesn’t differentiate by classification — 2A-5A all wrestle in the same bracket. It will be a big test for Eagle Valley.
Sports Editor Chris Freud can be reached at 970-748-2934, email@example.com and on Twitter @cfreud.