Eagle Valley, Battle Mountain wrestlers compete at Eagle Valley Invitational
GYPSUM — The Eagle Valley Invitational welcomed nearly 20 high schools to Gypsum on Saturday, and the Devils finished the home meet in fourth place, while Battle Mountain finished seventh.
Eagle Valley finished with two wrestlers winning their weight classes, and two freshmen worked their way onto the podium with third-place finishes.
The Devils’ Raul Lopez (138 pounds) and Noah Hermosillo (132) topped their divisions, and Hermosillo was named given the Outstanding Wrestler Award at the end of the tournament.
Freshmen Luke Morrisey (106) and Bailey Beckum (113) earned points for the Devils with third-place results.
Hermosillo squared off against Battle Mountain’s Freddy Morales in the championship match.
“Freddy is a good friend,” Hermosillo said. “The first time we wrestled was a lot closer. When we wrestled this time, I wanted to make sure it wasn’t a fluke. I wanted to give it my all to the last second.”
Lopez defeated Brandon Chadd, of Central, in his championship match. Going back and forth much of the match, both wrestlers took a brief second to catch their breath in the middle of the match.
The Devils coaches and bench immediately hollered words of encouragement, and Lopez won the battle of endurance to win, 12-11.
“I told Raul afterward, that’s a match you would have lost last year,” said Devils coach Luke Cross. “Wrestling is a mental sport. He mentally pushed himself through that threshold and got the win.”
For the Huskies, Collin Stilson finished third in the 126 weight class; Morales finished second to Hermosillo at 132; and Wyatt Harwood battled back to finish third at 170.
Harwood pinned his opponent in 52 seconds to advance to the third-place match, where he proceeded to pin that opponent as time expired in the first round.
Stilson must have that good karma working for him. The match for third place could not be held because Stilson and Colt Rohrig, of Rifle, had already wrestled five times on the day, the limit by rule. In that scenario, a coin flip decides the winner, and Stilson finished the day 1-0 in coin flips.
Battle Mountain, the lone 4A school with a full team at the tournament, was looking for a better tournament result.
“They wrestled tough,” said Huskies coach Angelo Vasquez, “But they didn’t end where we wanted them to end. It’s a tough one to stomach.”
Hotchkiss won the Eagle Valley Invitation with 194 points; Buena Vista finished second with 158; and Rifle rounded out the top three with 129. Eagle Valley finished with 82 points, and Battle Mountain finished with 62.
Reporter Ross Leonhart can be reached at 970-748-2915 and firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Instagram at colorado_livin_on_the_hill.