It's not every day that you see the second-place team celebrating, but on Saturday the Cedaredge Bruins' wrestling team was all grins. Despite losing in the championship round to place second minutes earlier, even Brian Leahy's dimples were showing.
"Something's clicking this year," said head coach Ted Schanen after his team placed 10 wrestlers and scored 194.5 points to place second Saturday at the 25th annual Screaming Eagles tournament. "We're wrestling really well."
Landon Eckhart claimed the sole championship, pinning Trevor Smith of Paonia to win the 195-pound title. The pin also secured second place for the Bruins, who finished four points ahead of Meeker. Paonia scored 257 points to win the 16-team tournament.
Eckhart (20-5) is a product of the budding middle school program and one of three sophomores to place in the top three Saturday. "Eckhart has pinned every single kid he's wrestled since Christmas," said Schanen. Mario Madaleno (285) was 1-1 after losing to No. 1-ranked senior Tony Darling in the championship round.
Austin Todd (120, 22-6) placed third with a win over Palisade. Todd went up against fourth-ranked Aris Shino (25-1) of Merino, who was undefeated going into the match. After locking up the score at 3-3, the Merino wrestler was able to ride Todd for 30 seconds in an ultimate tiebreaker for the win.
Jacob Ostrom (120) stayed on the mat longer than anyone else against two-time state champion Jesse Reed of Paonia in the semifinals. Ostrom lost to No. 3 Chance Baughman of Dove Creek to place third. Junior Garrett Humble (220, 22-7) upset Joel Simianer of Paonia in the quarterfinals and placed fourth after falling to No. 4 Trace Elliott of Merino.
Wyatt Toothaker, a 106-pound junior, "broke through today," said Schanen, pinning 17-10 sophomore Colin Hobbs of Dove Creek in the quarterfinals. He ended the day with a 27-7 record after falling to No. 3-ranked Randen Espinoza, a 30-3 junior from Palisade, in the championship round.
Senior Alejandro Alejandre (11-6, 170) was 2-1 to place third.
Senior Peter Williamson (138) wrestled back from a 6-0 semifinal loss to No. 2-ranked Jose Chavez (28-2) of Center, winning by major decision over No. 4-ranked senior, Nick Jones of Dove Creek to place third.
Williamson, a returning state qualifier for the Bruins at 132 pounds, sees big progress in his team, adding that he's exceeding some of the goals he set for himself. Last season Williamson's record hovered around .500. He ended the week at 29-5 and is ranked second in the region. One of those goals includes a place on the podium at state. "Right now it's looking pretty good," said Williamson.
Williamson said working with teammate Ty Morton has helped considerably. "He's a great coach," said Williamson. "He knows wrestling."
Morton pinned a ranked opponent in a Friday night dual win but didn't fair so well at Paonia.
Senior 132-pounder Beau Hebert (16-12) lost in quarterfinals to a 28-5 wrestler from Meeker. "He did a lot of good before that last 10 seconds," said Schanen.
Hebert pinned Talon Harris (18-7) of Norwood in 3:18 to place third.
"It's an exciting year," said Schanen, who sees his team making "perfect progress. The guys are just so close. There's a lot of consistency, but if one gets down, another steps up."
Schanen said placing second against some of the top Class 2A teams in the state — No. 1 Paonia, No. 2 Meeker, No. 5 Norwood, No. 9 Center and No. 10 Merino — carries extra significance since Cedaredge will drop to Class 2A in wrestling next year. "We beat a lot of 2A kids today," said Schanen. And placing second to Paonia makes the future look pretty bright.blog comments powered by Disqus