Devils solid at Warrior Classic
GRAND JUNCTION – The Warrior Classic in Grand Junction every year is a state-tournament sampler, so to speak. With 32 top-tier teams assailing on Grand Junction Central High School for a long weekend of grappling before the two-week winter break, coaches and wrestlers alike can sort out where they stand amongst some of the best from around Colorado – nearly two months before state tourney time.At the 2004 edition of the classic last Friday and Saturday, the Eagle Valley wrestling team proved it will be a team to contend with at the 4A level.The Devils finished 10th overall with 96 1/2 points, a showing that was third-best among the 4A teams at the classic.
4A Pueblo South took home top honors with 176 1/2 points. Uintah High School in Vernal, Utah, was runner-up with 158 points and 4A Slope foe Moffat County was third with 146 1/2.Tough competitionThe team score may be somewhat misleading because Devils coach Ron Beard took only eight wrestlers to the tournament, which left six weight classes open.Individually, the Devils had a number of strong performances.At 103 pounds, B.J. Jaramillo picked up his first loss of the season after being pinned by Kyle O’Brien of Rocky Mountain in 3:38.
Jaramillo’s runner-up finish was still the best showing on the team.At 140 pounds, Mason Ewing finished in fourth place. His only losses were to No. 1-ranked Korey Kostur of Moffat County and Diomi Tutt of Natonas High School in Sacramento, Calif.Also of note, Ewing beat Olathe’s Brennan Cole who was the state runner-up in 3A last year.Chris Best finished in 3rd place at 145 pounds. In the third-place match Best beat Nick Ruckman of Meeker in overtime. His only loss was to second-place finisher Anthony Hernandez of Roosevelt.
At 160 pounds, Chris Harvey finished fourth. Harvey lost a tight 6-5 decision to Wade Garvey of Nucla in the third-place final.Other Devils who wrestled but did not place were 171-pounder Brendan Best, 112-pounder Jimmy Benavides, 152-pounder Kylan Kottenstette and heavyweight Gabe Velasquez.Mat factsThe JV wrestling team also had a strong showing at Fruita on Saturday. Chad Strakbein took second at 98 pounds, Josh Wamboldt took third at 98 pounds, Louis Romersheuser took first at 275 pounds and Jason Bair took second at 275 for the Devils. … Christmas break is a welcome opportunity for rest as six of the eight Devils at the Warrior Classic were battling colds. … The Devils next host their own tournament on January 8th.