‘Cats win close match with Warriors
Sink the legs in and ride too high on Fruita Monument senior Ian Konrad, and you’ll get what happened Wednesday night. Konrad reached back, grabbed his opponent around the head and eventually rolled him up on his shoulder blades and pinned him.
It’s the not the most conventional way to earn a fall, but Konrad said he’s done it several times previously. When he delivered 2 minutes, 36 seconds into the final match of Wednesday’s Southwestern League wrestling dual against Central, he had the added pleasure of handing Fruita six points and a 43-36 team victory over a Warriors squad that took the Wildcats to the hilt.
Central, a young team with only three seniors, showed it’s getting better as the season progresses.
“The kids wrestled hard. We did a better job than we have in a while, and it shows we’re improving,” Warriors coach Laurence Gurule said.
Gurule added he was pleasantly surprised by the closeness of the dual. And given how his wrestlers gave themselves a chance to win, he was disappointed that they didn’t.
“Going to our back, there wasn’t enough fight,” he said of the six pins Fruita claimed.
Central claimed six pins, too, but that left two matches that went to decisions, and Fruita won both, including Ty Taylor’s major decision at 182 pounds.
Fruita wasn’t at full strength as 145-pounder Isaac Rodriguez is out for the season with an injury, and 138-pounder Jared Seely has to wait another week to return from injury, according to Wildcats coach Dan Van Hoose.
Still, he said after the meet the overall team effort could have been better.
“Some kids showed up and wrestled, and some didn’t. It’s disappointing,” Van Hoose said. “We have to find that middle ground and stay there all the time. Some kids keep going back and forth. ... We had some kids who had beat their kids (earlier this season) who got beat back tonight.
“You’ve got to be firing on all cylinders. You can’t give up pins and win duals. You can’t do it.”
Well, actually you can, Van Hoose added, because Fruita got enough pins of its own. The Wildcats got falls from Remington McLean (106), Daniel Van Hoose (120), Konrad (126), Kaden Fife (152), Jacob Seely (195) and Chase Clayton (220). Van Hoose, Fife, Seely and Clayton all scored their pins inside of a minute, and Fife notched the night’s quick pin, needing only 17 seconds.
Because the match started at 132 pounds, Konrad was the final Wildcat to take the mat. All he needed was a decision, but he doesn’t think that way. Nor did the team score influence his approach.
“I try not to pay attention to the team score,” he said. “If each individual does his part, you end up winning the team (dual).”
Konrad led 5-0 after one period, then started the second period on the bottom after Central’s Derek Rubalcaba chose top. Rubalcaba sank both legs in, got too high on Konrad’s back, and Konrad did what his coaches taught him to do from there.
“It’s more of a counter to the legs,” Dan Van Hoose explained. “They get too high, or you can buck them or do things to get them too high, then you can swim for the head and start circling. Ian’s real good at that. He’s real flexible.”