Devils sweep home triangular |

Devils sweep home triangular

Ryan Slabaugh

Eagle Valley wrestled itself out to a 16-0 lead courtesy of two forfeits and a major-decision victory by Mason Ewing in the 112-pound match. But when Battle Mountain’s Adam Garcia slipped past 125-pound Chris Best 11-6, Daniel Trujillo won by forfeit and the Huskies’ Jason Wooley pinned Maricio Lagos in 34 seconds, the Devils lead shrank to 16-15.

But a full Eagle Valley lineup would be the Devils’ strongest weapon. Eagle Valley junior Tim Reitz won by forfeit, one of six for Eagle Valley on the night, and Chris Harvey followed with an aggressive 40-second pin over Chris Salazar, to turn the momentum back in the favor of the home red and black.

“It wasn’t our best match,” Devils head coach Jeff Lueders said. “We’ve been working pretty hard this week. We’ve been lifting weights three times and running in the morning. It’s made us pretty sluggish.”

Ahead 28-15, Devils’ Greg Hollis pinned Zac Rice in 3:21 to settle an old score. Both wrestlers had been kicked out of a meet earlier this season for fighting, but Thursday, Hollis emerged with a fist-pumping pin that had his team off its bench.

No matter the score, a rivalry will apparently always be a rivalry.

Eagle Valley followed with three-straight forfeits, leading to a heavyweight match where Battle Mountain’s Cody Stackpole beat John Saldana in a 6-2 decision.

Stackpole went 2-0 at the triangular, also picking up a win against Palisade.

“Cody’s in a real tough weight bracket as far as regionals are concerned,” Huskies head coach Jason Dutton said. “He’s going to have to have wins like that to factor into the state meet.”

Eagle Valley 35, Palisade 29

With Eagle Valley clinging to a 35-29 lead, 215-pound Jeff Bair pinned Palisade’s Eric Easterbrook in the second round to clinch the victory for the Devils.

The meet started out well for Eagle Valley, as senior Tommy Barela improved to 18-2 with a first-round pin. Freshman Kylan Kottenstette also pinned his man in the 119-pound match, as the Devils went up 12-3.

Palisade would come crawling back, picking up a technical fall, a forfeit and a second-round pin to go up 20-12. Then, Eagle Valley’s Tim Reitz got the momentum back for his team, beating the Bulldogs’ Rocko Weaver 14-0 for a four-point major decision. When Harvey also won a tight decision and Hollis won by forfeit, the Devils got a lead they would never relinquish.

Charles Faulhaber also picked up a key win down the stretch.

Next up for Eagle Valley is a tournament Saturday at Lake County.

“It’s going to be good because it’s mostly 3A schools,” Lueders said. “There’s a couple schools from Colorado Springs we get to look at. Hotchkiss (which is ranked in state) will be there, as well as Delta, which is a good team. If we can get three or four in the finals, we’ll be doing well.”

Palisade 57, Battle Mountain 12

Cody Stackpole’s third-round pin came a little late for Battle Mountain, who gave up 30 points because of open weight classes.

Stackpole was able to muscle Palisade freshman Dustin Deprospo with a minute remaining, putting the Bulldog on his back and squeezing for the eventual pin.

Next up for Battle Mountain is a trip to Moffat County Thursday.

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