Courier Photo by Eric R. Flores
Alamosa's Gunner Robinson, who is ranked No. 3 at 182 pounds, battles with No. 1 ranked Jareb Aziz during Thursday night's dual. Robinson's 1-0 win helped the No. 3 ranked Moose defeat the No. 1 Centauri Falcons, 40-29.
Courier Sports Editor
ALAMOSA—Emotions were heightened and the Alamosa-Centauri rivalry hit a climax here at Alamosa High School on Thursday night as the No. 3 ranked Alamosa Mean Moose defeated the No. 1 Centauri Falcons, 40-29.
A standing-room only crowd enjoyed an emotional start to a 2-day athletic event between the two schools. Friday night, the Alamosa boys’ and girls’ teams will host the Falcons each team’s Intermountain League opener.
The dual, which came down to the final match of the night, had the Mean Moose winning nine of the 14 matches that were battled.
The match of the night was definitely the 182-pound match. The match was the only one to have two wrestlers ranked in the top four. They Alamosa’s Gunner Robinson, who is ranked No. 3 in the state, up against No. 1 ranked Jareb Aziz.
As the bout started, both wrestlers traded opportunities at getting an upper hand with takedowns, however, as it appeared one or the other was going to get one, they would go outside of the circle to force the official to blow his whistle and reset play.
Emotions ran high as some extra-curricular grappling took place in the first quarter feeding the already frenzied crowd.
As the match continued there was no score after the first period. Aziz decided to start the second stanza in the neutral position and once again, both wrestlers could not get an upper hand making it a 0-0 score entering the final period.
Robinson decided to take the down position to start and quickly got a 1-0 lead with an escape. The two wrestlers battled and with about 30 seconds remaining, Robinson given a stalling warning. Aziz continued to battle and attempt to get a takedown and Robinson narrowly escaped before one was awarded. That led to additional shoving by the two but quick reactions by their respective coaching staffs defused the situation and Robinson was awarded his 1-0 win.
“It feels good, I am just coming back from a broken back and I have been working hard,” said Robinson after the dual. “I have to get more conditioned; I have my hopes set pretty high this year.”
The two wrestlers could possibly meet two more times before the season is all settled. They could meet up at the regional tournament at Monte Vista High School and at the State Championships. Both tournaments take place on back-to-back weekends in February.
The 138-pound bout was another match that had fans from both sides on the edge of their seats as senior Brandon Heredia clashed with Shane Wilson. The match was almost the same as the 182-pound match as neither wrestler scored a point in the first or the second periods. Once again, Heredia chose the down position and quickly took a 1-0 lead with an early escape. Wilson looked like he would be able to turn his fortunes with less than 10 seconds remaining by attempting a takedown. Unfortunately, Heredia was able to counter and get a takedown of his own with three seconds remaining to seal the 3-0 win.
The first match of the night was the 220 pound match that had Pablo Villarreal nabbing a 4-0 win over RJ Ruybal to put the Moose up 3-0.
No. 4 ranked Greg Martinez made easy work of freshman Joey Gile by getting the first fall of the night in 40 seconds. Centauri led 6-3.
Alamosa regained the lead in the 106-pound match as No. 2 ranked Tel Kelley pinned Patrick Esparsen in 3:23.
David Gallegos kept things rolling by pinning Dylan Ross in 4:53 to extend Alamosa’s lead to 15-6. No. 2 ranked Neff Malouff also got a pin. He defeated Angelo Martinez in 1:25.
With the score 21-6, No. 4 seeded Ethan Coombs closed the score to 21-12 by pinning Luis Flores in 2:29.
Senior Kole Kelley, who is ranked No. 2 at 132 pounds, pitched a shutout over Christopher Martin as he got a 14-0 major decision. His win coupled with Heredia’s win made Alamosa’s lead 16 points, 28-12.
Centauri went on a mini-roll to make things interesting. Jason Buhr, who is ranked No. 1 got a 26-10 technical fall over Dillon Vance. The fall came in 5:40 and added five points to the Falcons’ total.
One of the matches that came as a surprise was the 152-pound match that went the whole distance and pitted Nate Henry against James Richardson. Richardson took a 5-3 lead into the second period before a take down by Henry tied the score at 5 entering the final period.
In the final period, Henry was able to get an escape early to make the score 6-5. As time was winding down, Richardson looked like he was going to be awarded a takedown but the official, who appeared to start to signal a takedown, reversed his decision allowing Henry to capture the win.
No. 1 ranked Micah Keys pinned Julian Salazar in three minutes to make the score 31-23 and move the Falcons within striking distance with three matches remaining.
Jensen Hamilton did his part to make things even more intense by pinning Chris Aguirre in 4:40 making the score 31-29 before the 182-pound match.
After the Robinson victory, Alamosa led 34-29. Nick Jones did not allow the hope of a comeback to live for long. The No. 4 ranked wrestler at 195 pounds, scored a fall over Tylan Pavlovsky in 1:19 to seal the win for the home team.
“We won 9-of-14 matches tonight, that’s what I like about this win,” said Alamosa Head Coach Gary Ramstetter. “I have been involved in duals that are this intense but not in several years. It’s a nice win but it doesn’t mean anything. We still have not set our lineup yet, we have kids that need to get eligible and we had a couple of injuries.”
Both teams will have a day of rest before they return to action in Saturday tournaments. Alamosa will be in action at home as they host the 10-team Alamosa Invitational with the first match set to start at 9 a.m. The Falcons will travel up to Florence.