A humble honoree
Grand Valley's Cody Pfau recognized for wrestling excellence
Cody Pfau doesn’t understand what all the fuss is about.
“I didn’t do anything,” the Grand Valley High School senior said. “I’m just a wrestler.”
A wrestler who happens to be female and has cleared some major obstacles in a male-dominated sport. A milestone-laden career landed Pfau some lofty recognition Sunday night, when she was honored as one of the state’s outstanding female athletes by Sportswomen of Colorado.
“She is so humble,” Grand Valley wrestling coach Rick Gallegos said, “but she takes that to another level.”
Pfau’s list of accomplishments and accolades include a pair of victories at the high school state wrestling tournament. The first win came as a freshman student at Meeker High School. By winning a consolation match only minutes after Soroco’s Lauryn Bruggink, Pfau became the second girl to win a match at state.
She added another first — one of her very own — to the list in 2013, becoming the first female to win a first-round match at the state tournament by defeating Fort Lupton’s Ferdinando Martinez, 6-5, at 106 pounds.
Pfau has enjoyed success in national and international competition outside of the high school realm as well, but you wouldn’t know it. Quiet, unassuming and, as Gallegos puts it, “one of the guys,” Pfau isn’t suffering from an inflated ego with all of the attention she’s been receiving of late.
“I’m just another wrestler out there,” she said. “I don’t see the big deal.”
Sunday’s Sportswomen of Colorado banquet at the Hyatt Regency Tech Center in Denver honored female athletes of all ages for their exploits in various sports during the 2012 calendar year. Grand Junction High School cross country coach Kim Dobson made the list, too. She was recognized in the ultra/running category.
Swimmer Missy Franklin, who won four gold medals at the 2012 Summer Olympics, landed the organization’s Sportswoman of the Year award.
Meeting Franklin was a thrill for Pfau, who Gallegos fiercely believes belongs on the same stage as the swimming superstar.
“In Cody’s eyes, it’s, ‘This is Missy Franklin, who won four gold medals, and I wrestle for Grand Valley,’ ” he said. “What Cody’s not saying is, ‘I’m a four-time national champ, a Canadian Cup winner.’ She doesn’t even mention those things.”
But that’s Pfau for you — humble and unassuming.
“I remember coaching her in middle school,” Gallegos said. “She was a little quiet and just another one of the guys, and that’s all she ever wanted to be.”
But she’s much more than that in the eyes of her school, her community and the entire state.
“As I told her last night, she’s doing a lot for females in general,” Grand Valley Activities Director Dave Walck said. “Little girls think it’s cool that she wrestles. Some other female wrestlers from other schools were watching her (at state).”
Pfau’s days on the mat won’t end with her graduation in May. In the fall, she’ll be off Oklahoma City University, where she will continue her storied wrestling career.
Until then, plenty of tournaments and camps await. She could do without any more awards banquets, though.
“It was really fancy,” she said of the Sportswomen of Colorado affair. “I’m not one for fancy.”