|Seven Dragons place; four qualify for state|
|Written by Brenda Johnson Brandt|
With one regional champion, two runners-up and one fourth-place finisher, HHS will be well-represented at the Colorado State Wrestling Championships this weekend.
Action begins Thursday, Feb. 16 at the Pepsi Center in Denver and continues through the championship matches Saturday night, Feb. 18.
Regional action was held Feb. 10-11 at NJC in Sterling.
Broc Pelle claimed the 170-lb. regional championship. Wrestling strong all season, the HHS senior hopes to claim a state title before ending his high school wrestling career.
“He’s a powerhouse,” said coach Jack Garrison, adding the Dragon senior is wrestling exceptionally well.
Also making it to the championship regional matches and claiming runner-up honors were Mark Edmonds at 132 and Jesus Hermosillo at 195.
Edmonds returns to the state mats as a two-time state champ, but has his work cut out for him. His regional foe, Alex Klopp of Yuma, also defeated Edmonds in regionals a year ago. But Edmonds claimed the championship when they met in the state finals.
Klopp has been competing at 126 lbs. most of the season so the two have not met on the mats this year until regionals when Klopp bumped up a weight to 132 lbs.
It was a good championship match, with all points made in the third period, but Klopp took the 3-1 win. Coach Garrison has confidence in Edmonds, but noted he’ll have to step it up.
Jesus Hermosillo battles with Jacob Linnebur of Byers in semifinal action of the 195-lb.
Hermosillo beat the regional tournament’s number one seed in the semifinals and had a strong showing in the championship where he lost by an 11-9 decision. He got caught in a headlock in the finals, but battled back to make it a two-point match.
This is the junior wrestler’s second year in the sport, where his strength and hard work have been a successful combination.
Dylan Kotch earned a berth in the state tourney bracket with his fourth-place finish at 220 lbs. “Any time you can take a freshman to state, it’s beneficial,” said coach Garrison.
Kotch avenged some losses from earlier in the season and is wrestling well.
Dylan Kotch has Yuma’s Tommy Haag on his back in Friday night 220-lb. regional
In addition to the four state qualifiers, Holyoke had three other place-winners at regionals.
Junior Ben Martinez (145) and freshman Nick Ortner (138) took fifth-place honors and freshman Nathan Miles (126) placed sixth to claim points for the Dragons and places on the awards stand.
Ortner was able to challenge fourth-place wrestler Travis Hill of Akron for the chance to go to state since the two had not previously met in the regional tourney.
It was a tough 0-2 loss for Ortner in the challenge. A couple of questionable calls made it even rougher, but coach Garrison praised Ortner, noting the freshman wrestler has a good future in high school wrestling.
Nick Ortner, pictured at left, wrestles tough in his match with Denver Lutheran’s Stas Kjergaard to place 5th in regionals Saturday at NJC in Sterling. Ortner challenged #4 finisher Travis Hill of Akron for the ticket to the state tournament, and lost a disappointing 0-2 match.
Martinez knew going into his fifth-sixth place match that he was not going to state. He had already lost to both wrestlers competing for third and fourth, so he would not be able to challenge.
But his season wasn’t over, and he proved his worth with a 32-second pin to claim fifth place. Coach Garrison said Martinez just kept getting better through the season.
While Miles didn’t win a match in the regional tourney, he was commended by coach Garrison for his hard work. He dropped weight in order to fill the 126-lb. weight class for HHS, and earned a sixth-place spot on the awards stand.
The team missed 160-lb. senior and 2011 state qualifier Parker Redfern, who was injured two weeks ago and unable to compete at regionals. He had a good season for the Dragons.
Ben Martinez gets right to the pinning business, sticking Lukas Fehrenbach of
Holyoke finished sixth in regional action with 104 points. While Garrison thought they might have placed higher, he was pleased with the team and the progress made through the season.
Yuma won the regional tourney with 177.5 points, followed by Wray 163, Merino 146, Akron 127, Byers 115, Holyoke 104, Wiggins 102.5, Sedgwick County 94, Fleming 75, Denver Lutheran 63, Stratton 53 and Lyons 39.
Individual match results
Individual match results from last weekend’s regional tournament follow:
126 lbs.—Nathan Miles placed sixth. He was pinned in 1:15 by eventual champion Ramon Tarin of Wray and was pinned in :55 by Leon Johnson of Merino, who placed third.
132 lbs.—Mark Edmonds placed second. He pinned Saul Galarza of Byers in 1:02, won by default over Kyle Hunter of Merino and lost a 1-3 decision to Alex Klopp of Yuma in the championship.
138 lbs.—Nick Ortner placed fifth. He lost a 5-16 major decision to eventual champion Jaden Valko of Wray, pinned Billy Housley of Lyons in 1:52, was pinned in 2:03 by Cody Kirby of Byers and won a 9-6 decision over Stas Kjergaard of Denver Lutheran. He lost a 0-2 challenge match to Travis Hill of Akron.
145 lbs.—Ben Martinez placed fifth. He was pinned in 3:44 by Cade Schulz of Wray (who placed third), won an 8-4 decision over Kelton Tschanz of Lyons, lost a 2-9 decision to Johni Krueger of Sedgwick County (who finished fourth) and pinned Lukas Fehrenbach of Stratton in :32.
152 lbs.—Junior Leo Ortiz completed his first full season with the Dragons and has improved immensely, said coach Garrison. He was pinned in :48 by eventual champion Davey McCombs of Wiggins and lost a 5-13 decision to Jonas Cure of Wray, who placed fifth.
170 lbs.—Broc Pelle placed first. He pinned Manny Olivas of Yuma in :45, pinned Corey Skeels of Byers in :51 and pinned Thomas Groves of Wray in 2:49.
182 lbs.—Junior Cesar Hinostroza had never seen a wrestling mat in his life until this year, said coach Garrison, adding he’s probably the most improved wrestler on the team. “He’s just a sponge, always wanting to know more,” praised the coach.
Hinostroza was pinned in :37 by eventual champion Tyler Korf of Yuma and was pinned in 3:49 by Tyler Horalek of Fleming, who placed fifth.
195 lbs.—Jesus Hermosillo placed second. He pinned Jimmy Hard of Wiggins in 3:05, won a 9-4 decision over Jacob Linnebur of Byers and lost a 9-11 decision to Zack Parker of Denver Lutheran.
220 lbs.—Dylan Kotch placed fourth. He won an 11-4 decision over Tommy Haag of Yuma, was pinned by eventual champion Caleb Christensen of Akron in 1:49, won a 3-2 decision over Kyner Clay of Byers and lost a 1-6 decision to Lane Venzke of Wiggins.
Astolfo Rojo is pictured working for the pin over Logan Nofsinger of Sedgwick County.
285 lbs.—Astolfo Rojo went heavyweight to help the team, said coach Garrison, adding Rojo is a real undersized heavyweight. “He scored a lot of points for us and did a good job for us,” said Garrison of Rojo’s season.
At regionals, Rojo pinned Logan Nofsinger of Sedgwick County in 1:31, was pinned in 2:41 by Reed Christensen of Akron (who placed third), andwas pinned in 2:47 by Aaron Escamilla-Perez of Wray, who placed fourth.
Holyoke Enterprise February 16, 2012