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Pirates get three placers, one champion at Warrior Classic

Posted: Wednesday, Dec 19th, 2012

Despite suffering a loss in the second round, and wrestling back late into Friday’s consolations, Alamosa sophomore Tel Kelley racked up an 8-2 decision over Bryce Morita over Clovis (NM) West in the first round Friday at the Reno Courier Photo by Keith R. Cerny

Courier Sports Editor

SAN LUIS VALLEY— Some of the Valley’s top ranked teams competed in some prestigious wrestling tournaments over the weekend to wrap of the December portion of the 2012-13 season. The Monte Vista Pirates were in Grand Junction for the Warrior Classic while the Del Norte Tigers were at the John Mall Tournament. The Alamosa Mean Moose were at the most prestigious by traveling out of state to the Reno Tournament of Champions.

A big force that was missing from the mat this weekend was the No. 1 ranked team in Class 3A, the Centauri Falcons. The Falcon varsity grapplers took the week off to prepare for the 2012 Old Chicago Northern Colorado Christmas Tournament in Greeley on Friday and Saturday. The Old Chicago NCCT is one of the most prestigious tournaments in the state of Colorado.

This year proves to be no different because it will be extremely competitive with a field of 60 teams and roughly 680 competitors. From Colorado, 18 participating teams are currently ranked in the top 10 in their respective classes along with 190 individuals ranked in the top 10 including 30 No. 1 ranked wrestlers. The states of Wyoming and New Mexico will also be represented with several top ranked individuals and returning state champions.

Pirates take eleventh in Warrior Classic

GRAND JUNCTION—Monte Vista junior Diondre Garcia won an individual title and led three Pirate placers in the prestigious Warrior Classic wrestling tournament in Grand Junction on Saturday.

Garcia, the No. 1 ranked wrestler in Class 3A, got four falls in five wins en route to the 106 pound championship title in the elite, 38-team tournament at Grand Junction Central High School. His pins came in the first four matches with the fastest one being in the semifinals. He pinned Grand Junction’s Cody Lacy in 48 seconds.

The championship match was a close one with Garcia getting the 2-0 decision.

The next placer for the Pirates was JJ Duran, who went 7-2 on the day and finished in fifth place. Unluckily for Duran, the first match did not go his way as Grand Junction’s Kohlby Wells grappled his way to a 12-5 decision. He would easily win five matches in a row including two technical falls and two major decisions before he was pinned by Class 3A’s No. 2 ranked Olathe’s Austin Shank forcing him to move down and wrestle for fifth place.

As the bracket played out, Duran had to wrestle Wells for a second time, this time Duran got a much closer decision, 8-6.

The No. 2 ranked wrestler at 160 pounds, Austin Vance, was Monte Vista’s third and final placer in the tournament. He finished in fourth place by going 4-2 on the day. After winning his first three wins, two by falls, Vance suffered a loss in the next match to Nucla’s Tray Sickels in 3:23 by getting pinned. He would rebound with an 8-6 decision over Paonia’s Jorge Quinonez to make it to the third place match.

In the third place match up, Vance battled into the second period before he was pinned by Rossevelt's Spencer Urban. The fall happened at the 2:58 mark of the match.

Other wrestlers for the Pirates included Daniel Bordunda, who went 0-2 at 126 pounds, Cody Cowan, who went 2-2 at 132 pounds, Garrett Pacheco, who went 3-2 at 152 pounds. Simon Schaefer also went 3-2 at 170 pounds while Isaac Medina went 0-2 at 182 pounds and Matt Barnes went 1-2 at 195 pounds.

In the team race, the No. 1 ranked team in 2A, the Paonia Eagles easily won the tournament crown with 204 1/2 points while the No. 8 ranked team in Class 5A, Rocky Mountain High School finished second with 182 points. The No. 7 ranked team in Class 5A, Arvada West, took third with 138 1/2 points. Uintah (Utah) finished fourth with 133 1/2 points and Fountain Fort Carson rounded out the top five with 130 points.

The Monte Vista Pirates, who are ranked No. 7 in Class 3A, finished in 11th place with 96 1/2 points.

Tigers dominate John Mall Tournament

WALSENBURG—The No. 5 ranked team in Class 5A, the Del Norte Tigers, dominated the 2012 John Mall Wrestling Tournament here at John Mall High School. The Tigers defeated 15 Class 2A and 3A teams that included Lamar, Pagosa Springs and Swink.

The Tiger rippled throughout all the weights because every single Tiger grappler earned a medal. Two wrestlers earned tournament gold medals with their wins.

Shawn Beiriger, who is ranked No. 2 in Class 2A, was the first champion and was named Outstanding Wrestler of the Tournament. This is the second straight honor for the Tiger senior. The No. 1 ranked wrestler at 170 pounds, Austin McDonald, was the other champion.

The Tiger’s other wrestlers and placers were Mac Mondragon (6th place) at 112 pounds, Keenan Martinez (4th place) at 120 pounds, Robert Gonzalez (4th place) at 125 pounds, Michael Martinez: 3rd place) at 138 pounds, Luke Hafeli (4th place) at 145 pounds, Jake Jolly (5th place) at 160 pounds Tharen Smith (2nd place) at 182 pounds, and Brian Bothell (4th place) at 220 pounds.

At 285 pounds, Shane Shearin finished third and he was recognized for the most pins in the tournament in the least amount of time. He had four pins in 4:43.

The Sargent Farmers were the only other Valley team at the tournament and they finished in 12th place with 44 points.

Zack Morgan finished in second place in the 220 pound match up because he was pinned in 1:40 by Trinidad’s Brian Shaw.

The Tigers will be down in Farmington, N.M. on Saturday when they participate in the Piedra Vista wrestling tournament.

Malouff paces Moose at Reno Tournament

RENO, Nev.— The Alamosa Mean Moose, who are ranked No. 4 in Class 3A, were only able to get one placer at the 18th Annual Reno Tournament of Champions that took place in Reno, Nevada this past weekend.

The largest RTOC, which is dubbed as the Toughest Tournament in the USA included 118 teams from at least 13 states, and over 960 wrestlers and was not as pleasant for the Mean Moose as in previous years.

Alamosa senior Neff Malouff emerged as the only placer for the Mean Moose, who finished in 49th place as a team, in the 2012 edition of the tournament. Malouff finished fifth at 120 pounds by nabbing an 8-2 decision in that match. Malouff went 5-2 on the weekend after suffering his first defeat in the championship semifinal match.

Sophomore Tel Kelley won his opening match at 106 pounds but lost his second to move down into the wrestlebacks bracket. While in that bracket, Kelley won five matches before he was eliminated.

At 113 pounds, David Gallegos opened the tournament with a first-round bye, but was immediately defeated by a 5-0 decision; he was then ousted from the tournament by being pinned in 2:38.

Michael Cliff was pinned in his first match in the 126-pound bracket while Kole Kelley lost a major decision, 10-0 in his first match of the 132-pound bracket. Kelley went on to win three matches in the wrestleback bracket, one by fall, one by technical fall and the other a major decision, before he was eliminated.

Tyler Cerny won the first match with an 18-1 technical fall before being pinned in the next match. He was then eliminated in his first match of the 138-pound wrestlebacks.

Brandon Heredia (145 pounds), Dillon Vance (152), Nate Henry (160), Josh Gonzalez (172) and Pablo Villarreal (220) all went 0-2 in the tournament.

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