Trevor Smith was a bit edgy heading into Friday's dual match against Olathe sophomore Felix Pena.
It was, after all, the first match of the season.
In the early moments, as Smith gathered his thoughts, Pena managed a two-point takedown. Smith escaped and jumped back on his feet. He circled Pena, wrapping his arms around his waist and taking him to the mat.
After that it went fairly well. Smith put Pena into a low leg cradle and pinned him, leaving 12 first-round seconds on the clock.
"That went pretty well," said Smith after the win, adding that he was "pretty nervous" going into the match.
Paonia won the dual, 51-18. Smith was one of three freshmen to wrestle on the varsity squad Friday night, and one of nine freshmen out for the team. Colton Godwin (113) also won his first match, pinning freshman Cody Needham in 40 seconds. At 106 pounds, Garrett Beck lost by a 6-2 decision to Pirate Andrew Godfrey.
It wasn't Smith's first match. He wrestled in middle school and grew up in a wrestling family. Cousins Shane and Justin Smith were both state placers for Paonia. Trevor Smith grew up in Paonia and lived in Delta for the last year and a half.
But Smith knew he wanted to wrestle for Paonia. He stands just over 6 feet tall and weighs 180 pounds, but was able to walk on at 195 pounds — where senior TK Kendall wrestled last season.
The Eagles are seeking their third consecutive state championship after scoring 205 points last February to win the Class 2A title.
Eleven wrestlers placed at state last year. "I was pretty surprised," said Smith of making the varsity squad.
Eagles Bo Pipher (132), Ty Coats (152), Will Austin (170), and Tony Darling (285) also won their matches by pinfall.
The Pirates won at four weight classes. At 145 pounds, Trent Rose won over McCabe Taylor by a 9-2 decision, and freshman Andrew Godfrey defeated freshman Garrett Beck, 6-2, for the win at 106 pounds. At 138 pounds, Eagle Isaac Ferguson was pinned by returning state qualifier Austin Shank.
The most competitive match of the night was between returning state placers Josh Altman of Paonia and Pirate Trenton Piatt at 120 pounds. Altman trailed, 3-1, going into the final round. With less than a minute to go, Piatt put Altman in a painful headlock, and with 8 seconds to go, won the match by pinfall.
At Saturday's Maverick Duals in Grand Junction, Smith was 3-2, losing to Landon Eckhart of Cedaredge, and to Monticello (Utah) senior Jake Giles, ranked third in the state at 170. Godwin was equally impressive, ending the day at 3-1, including a sudden victory, 13-11 win over Cedaredge freshman Blake Nation.
Paonia had a near-perfect day at the duals, defeating Montrose, 56-18; Moffat County, 61-13; Cedaredge, 54-24; Palisade, 57-19; and Monticello, Utah, 63-15. The Eagles ended the day with 34 pins.
Jesse Reed (126) and Bo Pipher (132) both won all five matches by pin. Josh Altman (120), Zach Milner (160), Joel Simianer (220) and Tony Darling (285) also went undefeated at the duals. Ty Coats (152), Will Austin (170) and Logan Schopp (182) finished the day with a 4-1 record.
Paonia travels to Fruita Monument today. It will defend its tournament title Saturday at the 26th annual Delta Invitational. This week's Eagles' dual against Delta has been re-scheduled for Jan. 23 at Delta.blog comments powered by Disqus