Huskies hit the mat for regionals
Battle Mountain wrestler Chris Salazar gave head coach Marvin Sandoval a good-sized shiner this week.
Huskies heavyweight Cody Stackpole tore the right thumb ligament of assistant coach Desi Quintana.
Yep, things have been heating up in the Battle Mountain wrestling room, with regionals beginning today at 2 p.m. at Broomfield High School.
The goal is plain – finish in the top four in your weight class and you’re on your way to the floor of the Pepsi Center for the 4A state tournament.
“There’s a big rise in intensity. They’re stepping up to the challenge,” Sandoval said. “I think everybody in this wrestling room will be there just because hard work pays off and they’re working hard.”
The Huskies will be sending seven to Broomfield, headed by Stackpole (31-2), who is the No. 1-seed in his bracket.
“It’s a pretty good start,” the senior said. “But regionals isn’t what I’m looking forward to. It’s state.”
Stackpole’s only two losses have come at the hands of formidable competition – 5A Fruita’s Sam Safken, who is ranked No. 1 in the state by On the Mat, and Moffat’s Kyle Fredrickson, who is on the other side of this weekend’s bracket in the three-spot.
“I need to get my head in the game, first thing. I was a little bit slow the first time I wrestled (Fredrickson),” Stackpole said. “I was out of gas. This time, my coaches have helped me. They’re teaching me how to re-ride, just going through the basics that I needed. Hopefully, that should work.”
Stackpole has a bye in the first round and then will face the winner of Mullen’s John Parker vs. Montrose’s Derek Frigetto.
Daniel Trujillo, at 135 pounds, is Battle Mountain’s other seeded wrestler at No. 3. Trujillo (27-9) starts with Mullen’s J.D. Stout. On the other side of the bracket is No. 1 Korey Kostur of Moffat County. Trujillo fell to Kostur at the Warrior Classic so that will definitely serve as motivation.
Also serving as motivation is that Trujillo was one match away from state at last year’s regionals, only to see a state invite slip through his fingers.
“I was one win away from going to state,” he said. “It gives me a lot of motivation now. I was close last year, and I’m going to be there this year.”
At 112, Joey Tafoya will open against Ralston Valley’s Dustin Humrich. A possible sleeper at 119 is Rudy Frausto. He’s 24-11 and 16 of those wins have come by way of a pin. Delta’s Derek Brewer is the No. 1-seed in the bracket and in their meeting this season, Frausto lost a tough one-point decision to the Panther. Frausto opens with Conifer’s Tim Andeson.
Fran Saucedo will hit the mat at 125. His first-round opponent is Palisade’s Landon Barnes. At 140, Rogelio Munoz takes on Steamboat Springs’ Donald Dillon. They did not face each other in the regular season.
And, at 152, Salazar will have a bye in the first round and faces the winner of Evergreen’s EJ Schwartz vs. Moffat’s Shane Zimmerman. Salazar beat Zimmerman in a dual in late January.