Set for the finals exam: Gurule, Hoffschneider advance in Class 5A
DENVER — Matthew Gurule will get a chance to join an elite group tonight.
The Central High School senior will wrestle for a third state title at the Pepsi Center.
Gurule is happy he’ll get a chance to win a third title, but says he doesn’t look at state any differently than other tournaments.
“Yeah, but it’s like any other tournament,” Gurule said. “You try to win all of them. Everybody wants to win.
“I give my best, everyone should give theirs.”
He defeated Cherokee Trail’s Chris Buccieri 11-4 on Friday in the Class 5A 112-pound semifinals.
Gurule (45-1) will have to beat his rival, Josh Martinez of Pine Creek, to get that third title.
Martinez (44-1), a junior, easily took care of Coronado’s Adrian Cordova and will meet Gurule for the fourth time in a high school match.
“As far as I know, we’re friends,” Gurule said. “We get along. We go hard. One guy wins and one guy loses.”
Gurule defeated Martinez for the 103-pound title last year and Gurule beat Martinez in a tournament earlier this season.
Martinez, though, handed Gurule his only loss this season when Martinez pinned Gurule in last weekend’s regional final.
Gurule gave Martinez his only loss of the season in an invitational tournament in Pueblo.
While Gurule will be looking to add a third crown to his collection, Grand Junction’s Jesse Hoffschneider will be trying to get his first.
“We’ve talked about it so long,” Hoffschneider said. “Finally, its here. My dad (Jessie Hoffschneider) was about to cry. It made me feel like this was a dream.
“It’s a big accomplishment, but I don’t know want to be content. I want to win it.”
The sophomore (37-3) defeated Heritage’s Michael Miller 3-2 in the 140-pound semifinals.
“I kept my head in the match,” Hoffschneider said. “When he picked bottom (position), I knew that would be to my advantage.”
Hoffschneider’s teammate, Dylon Thompson, won’t get to wrestle for a state title.
The 103-pound sophomore lost a 10-2 decision to Pine Creek’s Geo Martinez.
Thompson (37-3) will place for the first time. Two wins today would give him third.
Central’s Zach Short, who lost in the quarterfinals to finalist Steven Kelly of Ponderosa, bounced back to pin Brighton’s Blake Elrod in a wrestleback. Short (32-13) is one win away from placing.
Fruita Monument’s Matt Remy (31-9) rebounded from a quarterfinal loss with a 5-3 victory in the consolation bracket at 215 pounds. The senior is back in a familiar place, one win away from placing.
Ponderosa, which is looking for its eighth consecutive team title, is in first place with 106.5 points. Coronado is second with 92.5 and Pomona is third with 66.5.
Ponderosa’s Jacob Snider won his semifinal match and will go for a fourth state title. He could become the 16th wrestler in Colorado high school history to accomplish that feat and the only one in any of the four classifications that can accomplish the feat this season.