Pirates show their fortitude on mat with victory over Junction

Olathe may be the small town down the road, but the Pirates showed they can wrestle with the big boys.

The Pirates won nine matches, including five by pin and one by forfeit to defeat Grand Junction 47-28 in a nonleague dual Wednesday night at Grand Junction High School.

“It feels like beating your bigger brother,” Olathe senior Kyle Piatt said. “It always feels good to beat a bigger school. It’s good to come in and prove the little schools can hang with the big dogs.”

Piatt, who is being recruited to wrestle and play football in college, has narrowed his decision down to four schools and one sport, but hasn’t decided what sport. He said he plans on waiting until after the wrestling season to make his decision. He’s looking at the University of Northern Colorado, Mesa State, Western State and CSU-Pueblo.

Piatt had little trouble keeping his undefeated record intact, pinning Grand Junction’s Jonny Pauli in 2:45 in the 171-pound match.

By then, the Pirates had the win sealed.

“The kids had fun,” Olathe coach Harvey Starbuck said. “They pushed hard and performed well. We needed to improve on takedowns and were aggressive.”

Olathe won seven of the first eight matches to build a 35-6 lead. Trenton Piatt (103), Jacob Solseth (112), Wyatt Yarnell (130) and Casey Childs (285) had pins.

“I give credit to Olathe, (the Pirates) are a tough team,” Grand Junction coach Cole Allison said. “A lot of those matches at the beginning were close matches, they just wanted it more. You can’t hang your head or pout. We’ve got to do better.”

The Pirates picked up two wins from wrestlers that have competed for one varsity spot all season in Troy Rose and Ryan Pridy at 135 and 140 pounds.

“We had a couple kids off varsity this weekend sick and nursing a shoulder injury,” Starbuck said. “Pridy stepped up for us. He’s been wrestling JV and he wrestled hard. I couldn’t ask for more effort tonight.”

Pridy wrestled in place of Brenton Martinez and took advantage of the opportunity. Martinez is nursing a nagging shoulder injury, but is expected to return by regionals next week.

“I knew was wrestling (against Junction) on Tuesday,” Pridy said. “I was really nervous. I wanted to keep our momentum going.”

He rallied from a 4-1 hole in the first period and rolled to a 15-4 victory over Keenan Hall in the 140-pound match. Rose won a 5-2 decision at 135 and Zach Shank, a two-time state placer, won a 9-1 decision over Chase Arrieta at 125. Myles Yarnell won by forfeit at 160.

Grand Junction’s returning state placers, Dylon Thompson and Jessie Hoffschneider, had little trouble picking up victories. Thompson pinned Andrew Hawk in 1:16 at 119 pounds. Hoffschneider racked up 18 points in a technical fall victory in 2:59 at 145. Gage Casey followed Hoffschneider with a technical fall in 4:27 at 152. Grand Junction freshman Robbi Gonzalez pinned Josh Pietak in 1:38 at 189 and Dylan Reed pinned Miguel Ramirez in 1:39.


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