Late last Thursday the Wolverine wrestlers, despite a 46-26 loss to Alamosa in 3A/2A Intermountain League dual combat, were more than upbeat to welcome 4A Durango to Bayfield High School the following night.
"It's always fun to go 'beat up' on Durango a little bit," quipped 145-pounder Colter McMenimen, "but it's just another match to go out there and do what we do!"
McMenimen was recognized - along with upper-weight grappler Blane Barnes - as the squad's only seniors prior to facing the Mean Moose.
"They've got a lot of tough kids," added junior Cash Snooks, whose second-period pin of AHS' Zeke Bernal at 152-immediately after McMenimen's 17-2 technical fall of Reis Martinez-gave Bayfield a 26-22 lead with only one weight left to be contested.
"Nothing comes easy in the world," he stated. "You've just got to work for everything you get.
Bayfield started well versus the Demons with 160-pounder Austin Baughman receiving a free pass.
Unfortunately, that would be the only forfeit DHS would surrender; four open weights ultimately doomed BHS in the La Plata County showdown as Durango prevailed 46-28. However, in the matches fans were privy to witness, the Wolverines actually won 23-22-beginning with heavyweight Sam Westbrook's 24-second pin of Demon Tony Vasquez in the dual's first contested action, with DHS leading 24-6 on the scoreboard.
106-pounder Garrett Beebe then dominated Cameron Jacobs 13-1 to bring the Wolverines back to 24-16.
Jake Sandrey then excelled at 113 pounds, routing Tristan Martinez by 14-1 major decision, before Demon standout Matthew Lavengood shut out Cody Speece 15-zip at 120 to finally interrupt Bayfield's roll.
With his team needing to re-generate momentum, 126-pounder Ryan Nava provided a strong 7-6 win over Hunter Hall bringing BHS back to 29-23. But Lane Grimwood was unable to follow any sort of suit at 132, pinned by Durango's Austin Counts, and 138-pounder Jake Jensen was then pinned by Demon Diego Martinez-giving the visitors an insurmountable 41-23 advantage.
Nonetheless, McMenimen followed with a 15-0 tech of Cole Gustavson before Snooks succumbed 17-2 to Henry Dorr to end the exciting engagement-the Wolverines' last before heading out for this weekend's 3A-Region IV Championships in Montrose. The four individuals in each weight this weekend will qualify for the state championships inside Denver's Pepsi Center beginning next Thursday.
"A little saying that we have in the wrestling room is 'The elevator to success is out of order; you're going to have to take the stairs. One at a time,'" Snooks said. "We're just going to keep taking those 'steps.' You've just got to keep pushing up!"
MAKING THE TRIP: Teams scheduled to compete at the 3A-IV meet other than Bayfield include Basalt, New Castle Coal Ridge, Delta, Gypsum Eagle Valley, Parachute Grand Valley, Gunnison, Craig Moffat County, Montezuma-Cortez, Olathe, Pagosa Springs, Rifle, Steamboat Springs and Sterling.
FINAL IML DUAL STANDINGS (points for/against): 1.Centauri 3-1 (185/109), 2.Alamosa 3-1 (172/105), 3.Pagosa Springs 3-1 (162/127), 4.Monte Vista 1-3 (94/192), 5.BAYFIELD 0-4 (110/190). (CHS lost to AHS, which lost to PSHS, which lost to CHS, resulting in the trio finishing with identical win-loss records. Pitted head-to-head-to-head, the Falcons totaled 129 points, the Mean Moose 126 and the Pirates 114.)
GOING TO GRAND JUNCTION: Results from Ignacio's trip to the 2A/1A San Juan Basin League Championships last Thursday in Mancos still had not been reported by the Times' deadline. Still ranked in Class 2A's top ten this week by On The Mat, Cody Haga's Bobcats will look to punch state tickets this weekend at the 2A-Region I Championships at Colorado Mesa University in Grand Junction.
With Mancos also slated to make the trip along with familiars Norwood/Nucla, Dove Creek and Dolores, joining the SJBL teams will be Cedaredge, Hayden, Hotchkiss, Meeker, Walden North Park, Rangely, Oak Creek Soroco, Kremmling West Grand and #1-ranked Paonia.