GJ's Trujillo wins showdown of ranked wrestlers
Grand Junction’s Jacob Trujillo and Fruita Monument’s Isaac Rodriguez are a pair of sophomore wrestlers with nothing but mutual respect for each other. Ranked No. 1 and No. 3, respectively, in Class 5A, the 145-pounders headlined a dual to start rivalry week for the schools.
For the second time this year, Trujillo topped Rodriguez, this time 7-3, but Fruita Monument beat Grand Junction 42-25.
Trujillo had all three of the match’s takedowns, and all of Rodriguez’s points were off escapes.
“If I’m going to face one guy, it might as well be the number one seed,” Rodriguez said. “I know I’m going into a lesson every time I face him. That’s what I want to face every time. I respect him.”
Trujillo, who is undefeated, brought the Tigers within five points of the Wildcats, but Fruita pulled away afterward.
“They’re a hometown rivalry. We just need to keep our head in it,” Trujillo said. “We gave up way too many falls. We won just as many matches, but the falls made the difference on the scoreboard.”
He added that a match against a wrestler such as Rodriguez requires a different class of physicality.
“When I go out there, I just have to remind myself to wrestle how I wrestle and to be physical,” Trujillo said.
Although the dual does not count toward the Southwestern League standings, it sets the stage for Fruita Monument to improve upon its No. 10 ranking further into the season. Wildcats coach Dan Van Hoose said he expected a tough fight from Grand Junction for rivalry week.
“You’ve got to be ready to go,” Van Hoose said. “We stayed off our backs when we needed to. I think a fight like (Trujillo and Rodriguez) sort of pumps them up. But, ultimately, each guy is an individual and focuses on their own match. But you enjoy seeing a fight like that.”