Devils take 3rd at home tournament, nab 4 golds
Eagle Valley Invite Podiums
106 — Matthew Medina, Eagle Valley first; Lee Bullock Eagle Valley, third.
113 — Luke Morrissey, Eagle Valley, first.
126 — Lucas Comroe, Eagle Valley, first.
190 — Cody Ponce, Eagle Valley, first.
GYPSUM — If you’re going to win your first tournament title, then it might as well be at your home meet.
Eagle Valley sophomore Cody Ponce won the 195-pound division at the Eagle Valley Invitational on Saturday, Jan. 6, and was one of four Devils to reach the top step of the podium.
The Devils finished third at their home meet with 124 points, behind Cedaredge (180) and Buena Vista (150.5).
“This is my first varsity tournament that I won,” Ponce said. “I had a lot of fun. It’s a thrill when you’re on top of the podium.”
The sophomore started wrestling during the eighth grade, a rather late start, and took his lumps last season.
“It’s amazing,” Devils coach Luke Cross said. “This is his second year of wrestling. He wrestled for like half a season in middle school. He struggled last year — mightily. He wrestled all summer long and it shows.”
All in during third
Ponce trailed West Grand’s Noah Schroeder, 4-2, in the third period. Ponce shot for the takedown and added near-fall points.
“The third period is always a rush. You have to win. You have to get the points,” Ponce said. “I threw my kid. I was thinking I needed something big. I thought I had the pin.”
He didn’t, but he was able to hold off Schroeder, 7-6.
Matthew Medina started off the finals well for Eagle Valley. He got an 8-2 decision over Buena Vista’s Isaac Hutchings. Luke Morrissey has moved up to 113 for his junior season. He notched three pins on his way to a crown.
Lucas Comroe got a methodical 5-0 win in the 126 finals over Cedaredge’s Sean Dale.
As with any tournament, the Devils had their disappointments. Coming off the winter break, coach Cross said some of his charges were flat.
“I thought we wrestled flat in our first round, and it put our middleweights in a spot,” the coach said. “It showed.”
The Devils start the meat of their schedule next weekend with the Mel Smith Invitational in Florence.
Sports Editor Chris Freud can be reached at 970-748-2934, firstname.lastname@example.org and @cfreud.