Courier Sports Editor
MONTE VISTA—They don’t have to shine all year, however, if they want to have a shot at being a state champion, wrestlers have to be ready to battle this weekend as regional tournaments are set to begin tomorrow (Friday).
The Class 3A Regional 4 tournament, which will be easy to access by local fans as it will be held at the newly renovated Monte Vista High School, will host three of the Top 10 ranked teams in Tim Yount’s On the Mat 3A Rankings. The host Pirates sit at No. 9, Alamosa sits as the second-ranked team in 3A while Centauri is atop the classification.
In addition to the Valley teams, Bayfield, Colorado Springs Christian Dolores Huerta, Florence, Manitou Springs, Pagosa Springs, St. Mary’s and Trinidad will be in attendance.
The tournament, which is set to start at 2 p.m. with Session One, will host 72 Top 20-ranked wrestlers, including 39 who are in the Top 10.
Session One will include preliminary matches and championship quarterfinals. A short break will be followed by second and third round consolation matches beginning at 5 p.m. before it will be suspended until Saturday.
Session Two of the tournament is set to start on Saturday at 9 a.m. and will include the championship and consolation semifinal matches. A lunch break will be slipped in the middle of that session before the consolation final matches of third/fourth place and fifth and sixth places take place.
The gym will then be cleared before Session Three starts with the Parade and Introductions of Champions, the championship final matches and awards. They will be followed up by wrestle back matches, if any.
Admission for a single session of the tournament is $7 for adults and $6 for students and seniors. An all-tournament pass will be available for $18 for adults and $15 for students and seniors while the price for just Saturday’s sessions are $12 for adults and $10 for students and seniors.
There is a possibility to be some huge matches between ranked wrestlers on Saturday during the championship matches. Some of those matches have an opportunity to be top matches in next week’s State Tournament.
At 106 pounds, there are four ranked wrestlers including Tel Kelley (first) of Alamosa, Diondre Garcia (third) of Monte Vista, Patrick Esparsen (eighth) of Centauri and Justin Maldanaldo (tenth) of Trinidad.
All four will have a first round bye. In the quarterfinals, Kelley, who is 23-2 on the season, will take on Dolores Huerta’s Fabian Guerrero (20-15). Garcia, who is 36-3, will take on Jacob Bedford (16-15) of CSC. Esparsen will have another bye before he faces the winner of the Bedford-Garcia bout in the finals.
The four wrestlers at 113 pounds include No. 5 Dillon Bellino of Florence, No. 10 Xavior Solis of Dolores Huerta, No. 12 JJ Duran of Monte Vista and No. 13 David Gallegos of Alamosa.
Duran and Gallegos will have first round byes before Duran, who is 30-12 on the season, takes on Trinidad’s Vince Santistevan (14-14) and Gallegos (12-16) takes on Centauri’s Dylan Ross (9-11) in the quarterfinals.
Alamosa’s Neff Malouff leads the charge at 120 pounds as he is ranked second. Christian Guerrero (Dolores Huerta) is ranked fifth, Chance Boehm (Florence) is ranked tenth, Gavin Burk (Monte Vista) is ranked 13th and Brian Follett (Colorado Springs Christian) is ranked 14th.
Malouff, who is 32-7 on the season, will take on Weldon Hughes (1-4) in the opening match of the tournament. Burk (11-10) will not know who he faces until Follet wrestles in his preliminary match. Centauri’s Angelo Martinez (14-15), who has a first round bye, will take on Florence’s Chance Boehm (25-11) in the championship quarterfinals.
Ethan Coombs (third) of Centauri, Colter McMenimen (seventh) of Bayfield, Jacob Yslas (ninth) of Florence, Cody Cowan (11th) of Monte Vista and Calvin Talladay (13th) of Dolores Huerta are all ranked at 126 pounds.
Kole Kelley (second) of Alamosa, Allec Rodriguez (sixth) of Bayfield, Daniel Borunda (tenth) of Monte Vista, Dalton Gregory (11th) of Pagosa Springs, Christopher Martin (13th) of Centauri, James Bernal (14th) of Dolores Huerta, Corey Craddock (18th) of Colorado Springs Christian and Ryan Carpenter (20th) of Manitou Springs are all ranked at 132 pounds.
Jared Mestas (first) of Dolores Huerta, Brandon Heredia (sixth) of Alamosa, Shane Wilson (ninth) of Centauri, Jeffrey Cooper (14th) of Monte Vista and Drake Rhodes (16th) of Bayfield are wrestlers to be watched at 138 pounds.
Jason Buhr (first) of Centauri, Joe Zink (tenth) of Bayfield, Dillon Vance (11th) of Alamosa, Keith Archuleta (12th) of Pagosa Springs, Connor Craddock (16th) of Colorado Springs Christian are all ranked at 145 pounds.
Scott Sandoval (fifth) of Florence, Julian Gallegos (sixth) of Dolores Huerta, Nate Henry (ninth) of Alamosa, Cody Snow (tenth) of Pagosa Springs, Garrett Pacheco (11th) of Monte Vista and James Richardson (12th) of Cenaturi are all ranked at 152 pounds.
The Valley owns two strong wrestlers at 160 pounds as Centauri’s Micah Keys is ranked first and Austin Vance of Monte Vista is ranked third. Chase Purcell (11th) of Pagosa Springs, Cameron Krautschun (13th) of Colorado Springs Christian and Lane Masar (14th) of Florence join them.
There are only two wrestlers ranked at 170 pounds including Morgan Shelton (seventh) of Pagosa Springs and Centauri’s Jensen Hamilton (12th).
Alamosa’s Gunner Robinson (first) and Centauri’s Jareb Aziz (second) should be a huge championship match at 182 pound match. They will be joined by Monte Vista’s Isaac Medina (12th) and Bayfield’s Michael Goodman (13th) as ranked wrestlers.
There are six wrestlers who are ranked at 195 pounds and they include Nick Jones (fifth) of Alamosa, Canon Wille (seventh) of St. Mary’s, Centauri’s Tylen Pavlovsky (tenth), Nate Titcomb (11th) of Manitou Springs, Matt Barnes (12th) of Monte Vista and Oscar Meraz (13th) of Trinidad.
Trinidad’s Brian Shaw (second) leads the ranked wrestlers at 220 pounds while Conner Ward (eighth) of Florence, Pablo Villarreal (ninth) of Alamosa, RJ Ruybal (14th) of Centauri, Alonzo Hernandez (16th) of Pagosa Springs and Matt Cerdas (17th) of Bayfield are also ranked.
Finally, Centauri’s Greg Martinez (fifth) is the highest regional wrestler at 285 pounds while Matt Eckstein (sixth) of Bayfield, Creede Wylie (seventh) of Pagosa Springs, Kevin Tuttle (eighth) of Florence, Ray Riggins (ninth) of Trinidad and Miles Keane (14th) of St. Mary’s are also ranked.
The top four finishers in each weight will advance to the State Wrestling Tournament which starts next Thursday at the Pepsi Center in Denver.