Hendricks does it all to lead Central past Fruita on the mat
Caleb Hendricks played the electric guitar like Jimi Hendrix, then wrestled like a champion.
The Central High School junior wrestler set the stage with his performance of the National Anthem.
A few matches later, he followed his solo with a 5-3 overtime decision over No. 6 ranked Dallas Bernal in the Warriors’ 50-21 victory over Fruita Monument on Wednesday night at Central.
“My fingers were all jittery right at the beginning,” Hendricks said. “I was pretty excited after the anthem. It always gets me going hearing the crowd cheering. Knowing they cheered for me on that, got me going for the wrestling match to get that victory and same applause.”
The 170-pounder trailed 3-1 going into the third period, but scored a takedown to force overtime then scored another takedown to win it. His victory gave Central a 32-21 lead.
“Bernal is a good kid,” Central coach Laurence Gurule said. “Caleb pushed him. We caught him on his hip once and got a takedown.”
The Warriors won 10 of the 14 matches, including four by pin and three by forfeit. Fruita Monument won three of its four matches by pin.
Central won a second overtime match earlier in the dual when fifth-ranked Anthony Feller defeated No. 8 Isaac Rodriguez 6-4 at 145 pounds.
“I told Isaac he’s the toughest freshman I think I’ve ever seen,” Gurule said. “He’s a talented kid. Dan’s done a great job working with him. Being a senior, Anthony maybe caught a couple breaks, but he wrestled hard.”
Feller scored first with a takedown, but Rodriguez gained the upper hand with a takedown in the second period for a 4-2 lead.
The Fruita freshman rode Feller for most of the match. He was unable to score and was called for stalling twice, giving Feller one point each time to force overtime. There, Feller scored a takedown to win.
“He controlled me on top pretty well,” Feller said. “I slowly picked away at him and got closer to scoring. Finally I broke through and scored.
“I’m always trying to get out and score. (Former Central wrestler) Sean White always said score first and score last. I always try doing that. It’s frustrating being down on the mat.”
Feller had defeated Rodriguez twice already this season.
“It doesn’t seem like we get any breaks on those,” Fruita coach Dan Van Hoose said. “Anthony is one heck of a wrestler. They’ll hook up again. I was proud of Isaac’s effort. He was a little conservative in the first period. That match could’ve gone either way.”
Central built an 18-0 lead with a forfeit and pins from Kyle Martinez at 106 pounds and Oscar Ruiz at 113.
Martinez, a freshman, pinned Tristin Monger in 39 seconds.
“(Martinez) just made the varsity,” Gurule said. “He’s a good kid. He’ll do a good job. He’s going to do more weight lifting and training in the summer.”
Jacob Rubaclaba (126) and Caleb Brown (182) had pins for the Warriors.
Matt Bishop (120), Kaden Fife (138) and Jacob Seely (160) had pins for the Wildcats. Seth Gonzales won a 9-7 overtime decision over Jason Jarvis at 132.