Brightman a bright spot in scrimmage
Freshmen get first taste of college wrestling
Kyle Brightman hoped to get a chance to wrestle last year, but a shoulder injury shelved him for the season.
This year, the Mesa State College redshirt freshman not only plans on nailing down a spot on the roster, but hopes to qualify for nationals.
“I want to be a national qualifier,” Brightman said. “We work hard and have good coaches that push us hard. It’s just a matter of doing it.
“I felt I did what I had to do to win it, but I need to work on my shots more.”
The 174-pounder from Cheyenne, Wyo., scored a takedown in the third period and held on to defeat freshman Luke Laurita 4-3 to solidify his spot at the weight in the annual Maroon & White scrimmage Wednesday night at Brownson Arena. Brightman’s victory all but sealed the White’s 24-18 victory.
“It was good to see the young guys wrestling the older guys,” Mesa State wrestling coach Chuck Pipher said. “The young guys got beat up, but they need to see what it’s like.
“A lot of young guys will wrestle this weekend.”
The Mavericks have their first tournament of the season Saturday in the University of Wyoming Open in Laramie.
Brightman is one of four freshmen who won matches Wednesday night.
Freshman Miguel Baltazar of Culver, Ore., defeated redshirt freshman Steven Reynolds 10-2 at 125 pounds. He’s already set a goal to qualify for nationals.
“I’m excited,” Baltazar said. “They said, ‘you’re the man.’ They plan on me getting some wins for us. I have no problem with that. I like competing.”
Another freshman, Trevor Stapp, pinned redshirt freshman Dwayne Bacon in 1:55 at heavyweight.
The rest of the matches were won by wrestlers with at least some college experience.
Four matches were won by returning Mesa wrestlers, Jason Wenger (133), Keith Johnson (149), Cole Johnson (165) and Andy Laiminger (184).
Redshirt freshman Berry Tack (141), a transfer from the University of Sioux Falls (S.D.), junior Chase Walker (157) and Shane Miller (197) are newcomers to the program who won matches.
Overall, Pipher liked what he saw in the scrimmage.
“We’ve got to work on top and bottom positions,” Pipher said. “Some guys are slow on their feet.”