Local wrestlers hit podium, prep for tourney
EAGLE — The flu spreads quickly, and even faster in a wrestling room.
Despite the flu running rampant, Eagle Valley wrestling took two podiums in last weekend’s Northglenn Norse Invitational.
“The kids took it hard,” said Devils coach Luke Cross, who still had some rasp in his voice. “But better to get the flu now than the week of regionals.”
Go long on companies that produce chicken soup, people.
Even having battled flu bug, the Devils’ Noah Hermosillo took second at 138 pounds. Hermosillo knocked Greeley Central’s Justus Strand from the ranks of the unbeaten in the semifinals. Strand finished fourth in the state last winter in 4A, so Hermosillo’s 5-4 decision was big one for Eagle Valley, which competes at 3A.
Even nicer was the fact that Hermosillo overcame a 4-0 deficit in that bout.
In the finals, Hermosillo ran into Legend’s Adam Aguilar, a 5A wrestling who dropped down this weekend from 138 pounds to 132, and a 5-1 loss.
At 106, freshman Luke Morisey continued to impress with a sixth-place finish.
“Coming into the season, I knew he’d be a good wrestler,” Cross said. “He started a little slower than expected, but he’s come along well quickly.”
Morisey took two tough losses to 5A wrestlers, but took down Jimmy Gonzalez of Pueblo County on his way to the podium.
In addition to the flu, Eagle Valley is nursing a few injuries, most notably Raul Lopez at 138 pounds and Caleb Laisure at 145 pounds.
“It’s not the right time of the season to push the kids,” Cross said. “We have time to keep them out and get them healthy.”
Huskies place two
And you thought there were a lot of sequels to Star Wars.
Battle Mountain’s Colin Stilson met up with an old friend last weekend — Lincoln’s Elijah Gossett, at 126, for the second time in two weeks. And, oh, by the way, this weekend’s tournament is at Lincoln, so the two may see each other yet again.
Stilson got the better Grossett, 2-0, again in last weekend’s Commander Invitational at Kennedy High School to take third place.
“He’s wrestling like it’s his senior year,” Huskies coach Angelo Vasquez said. “Last year, after he broke his thumb, he was a bit iffy. This year, he’s put it all together and is making everyone proud.”
Speaking of seniors, Wyatt Harwood is doing the same at 170 pounds. He finished second last weekend, a part of a season-long podium spree.
For those not familiar with wrestling, an athlete usually practices against teammates who are in the same weight range throughout the week. The problem for Harwood is that the Huskies don’t have anyone in the 170 range.
That means Harwood gets to see a lot of coach Vasquez, who’s a lean 200 pounds, as well as coach Eric Goodling, who is north of 200, in practice.
“Wyatt is a strong worker,” Vasquez said. “He gets lots of experience with coaches and that helps him work on positioning against bigger wrestlers than he’ll see in competition.”
Both the Devils and Huskies head to the Abe Lincoln Tournament in Denver this weekend. This is the regional dress rehearsal. Both teams are taking the weekend after next off to prepare for the season’s most critical tournament.
Sports Editor Chris Freud can be reached at 970-748-2934, email@example.com and @cfreud.