Fore: Eagle Valley pins Titans
GYPSUM, Colorado ” Eagle Valley hosted a wrestling dual against Coal Ridge Thursday night, and a golf tournament broke out.
During the 160-pound match between the Devils’ Dwayne Noriega and the Titans’ Geovanny Hernandez, the Eagle Valley faithful started to chant, “Bogey! Bogey!”
While it sounds like playing a golf hole one stroke over par, it’s actually spelled Bogie, Noriega’s nickname to his friends.
“You’d have to ask my mom,” Noriega said of Bogie’s origin. “It’s kind of a long story.”
Noriega was one of three Eagle Valley wrestlers honored on Senior Night as the Devils defeated Coal Ridge, 48-21.
The actual match score was 3-2 in the Devils’ favor with Eagle Valley’s Trent Book (152 pounds) pinning Coal Ridge’s Michael Larson (145 pounds) in an exhibition bout.
“It was fun,” Noriega said. “It was nice for me and Chad (Strakbein) and Chris (Hing) to have a good Senior Night. I just went out there to wrestle, wanted to wrestle well for our last home meet.”
“I guess the thing we’re really focusing on is getting ready for the regional tournament, eliminating mistakes and just working on our weak spots,” ” Coal Ridge coach Rob Grumley said. “We definitely have some stuff to work on.”
Going the distance
The most exciting match of the night came at 135 pounds, when the Titans’ Keenar Grumley bested the Devils’ Joey Bajza, 12-10. Grumley had the advantage early and nearly pinned Bajza in the second period, but he ended up building an 11-6 lead on back points.
Grumley, who has been fighting the flu all week, would need that margin, as Bajza clearly held the upper hand in the third.
“People don’t think six minutes is very long when you think about six minutes during a day,” Rob Grumley said. “But when you’re in a wrestling match, it is a long time.”
The rest of the matches went much faster. Eagle Valley’s Matt Kottenstette needed 1:14 to pin Coal Ridge’s Phillip Fetchek at 125. Andrew Hill (140) gave the hosts six points by dispatching Rylan Richards at 1:43.
Noriega finished out Hernandez at 160 in just 1:09. At 171, it was all Coal Ridge’s Kevin Laidlaw. He built a 12-0 lead against Eagle Valley’s John Crawford before getting the pin at 3:25.
Before the match, Strakbein, Hing and Noriega took a well-deserved bow. While it was disappointing that Strakbein won by forfeit and Hing was unable to wrestle to due an illness, Devils coach Ron Beard is appreciative of this trio.
“Chad Strakbein has been a super leader this year,” Beard said. “He’s having a great season. Bogie’s a totally fun kid to have around. We’ve only had two years with him, coming from Battle Mountain. I wish we could have had him for more years. Chris Hing is just an awesome kid to have around. He’s come a long way from knowing zero moves two years ago. They’re three good kids. We’re going to miss them.”
Before anyone goes anywhere, there’s still some wrestling left. Coal Ridge has a rare home triangular Saturday at 9 a.m. against Hotchkiss and Cedaredge. Meanwhile, Eagle Valley travels to Denver for the Abe Lincoln Tournament.
Sports Editor Chris Freud can be reached at 748-2934 or firstname.lastname@example.org.