Devils win second wrestling tourney |

Devils win second wrestling tourney

Ryan Slabaugh

Eagle Valley sent 10 grapplers to the finals on its way to scoring 265 points, 114 more than second-place Evergreen. In fact, no two teams combined would have beat the 3A Devils.”The guys are wrestling pretty well,” head coach Jeff Lueders said. “We were the class of the field.”Devils who won include: Tommy Barela (103 pounds), Mason Ewing (112), Kyle Kottenstette (119), Tim Rietz (145), Greg Hollis (152), Phillip Rivera (160), John Saldana (215) and Gabe Velasquez (hwt). Chris Harvey (140) finished second.The championship bumped Eagle Valley into the No. 10 ranking by Tommy Barela, who has two tournament championships this season, is ranked fourth in his weight group.The successful early season sets up the Devils for a pre-holiday test, when they travel to Mesa State University in Grand Junction for the annual Warrior Classic. Last year, a strong Eagle Valley squad only had two wrestlers reach the second round. The tournament is notorious for fielding a field rivaling the depth and competition of the state meet.”What we said at the beginning was – they always have the little-school champion and Hotchkiss and Meeker will be our competition – that we’d like take that prize home,” Lueders said. “We’d like to get half our guys in the second round.”As proof to the comparison with the state meet, last season, Lars Lueders finished fifth at the Warrior Classic and sixth in 3A state. While Lueders did graduate, the new crop of Devils are getting used to winning.”You never know when you go into these things,” Jeff Lueders said. “If they don’t like losing, maybe they won’t. They’ve been wrestling hard this week, harder than we have all season, to get ready for this thing. They’re in great shape.”The Classic starts Saturday at 10 a.m.Tiger’s Lair Tournament team scores – Eagle Valley 265, Evergreen 151, Thomas Jefferson 105, Skyview 96, Summit 90, Metro Lab 77, West Grand 71, Alameda 42, Manual 29, North Park 21, Clear Creek 8.Ryan Slabaugh is a sports writer for the Vail Daily. Contact him at (970) 949-0555 ext. 608 or at

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