Huskies qualify two for state tourney
Last year, Battle Mountain’s Cody Stackpole missed out on the state wrestling tournament because of a midseason shoulder injury that put him out of commission.
As a sophomore, Stackpole wasn’t allowed to finish out the season, either, after being asked to leave the team for disciplinary reasons.
So, when the Devils senior heavyweight takes to the mat at the Pepsi Center this weekend for what will be his first and last appearance at state, he hopes to make the most of it.
“This is the last shot,” Stackpole said at practice Monday. “I messed up my foot in the last match of regionals, but I don’t want to go to the doctor or anything, yet. I don’t want to take my chances of not being able to wrestle.”
The Devils light heavyweight – only 230 pounds in a weight class that is 275 pounds and under – was crowned regional heavyweight champion last weekend at Broomfield High School after pinning Adam Graves of Ralston Valley at 1:47 in the first period.
Graves, a fourth-place finisher at state in 2003, also earned a state bid last weekend after finishing runner-up to Stackpole.
While Stackpole was excited about claiming the regional title for the first time in his four years at Battle Mountain, he knows that the competition will be a lot stiffer- and thicker – this weekend in Denver.
“Most of the kids that qualified for state weigh pretty close to 275 (pounds),” said Stackpole, whose current overall record is 35-2. “The one kid that’s going that is lighter than me is (Graves) who I beat in the finals. The two kids who are seeded in front of me are from Greeley West and Fort Morgan. I haven’t seen either one of those kids all season.”
The Devils qualified one other wrestler for the state meet, 119-pound junior Rudy Frausto.
Frausto (26-13) will also be making his first state appearance after finishing fourth in the 119-pound division last weekend in Broomfield.
As the 10th seed in the 16-person bracket, Frausto will face seventh-seeded Joey Espinoza from Mountainview (28-9) in his first round match.
“I’m just excited to see how good I can do,” Frausto said. “I’m excited to wrestle against the blind kid [Marcus Hernandez] from Pueblo South again, because I beat him earlier in the season, but he’s done really well since. I’m hoping that I’m able to beat him again.”
Contact sports writer Nate Peterson at 949-0555 ext. 608 or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org
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Jeff Shiffrin, with his wife, Eileen, made the Vail area their home decades ago, and together raised Mikaela and Taylor Shiffrin, who was a member of the two-time NCAA Champion University of Denver Ski Team.