High school wrestling’s big tourney a real treat for Wildcats
BROOMFIELD — Jim Stockert likes to tell his Fruita Monument High School wrestling squad that the state tournament is an experience to remember.
With three of the Wildcats’ four state qualifiers headed to the Class 5A state tournament for the first time, they’ll get their chance to discover what the biggest weekend of the year in prep wrestling is all about. The tournament gets under way Thursday at the Pepsi Center in Denver.
Fruita Monument placed fourth in the 5A Region 3 tournament Saturday afternoon at Legacy High School, with eight wrestlers finishing in the top six.
“Exposure’s the main thing,” Stockert said. “I wish I could have taken all eight of them that placed to state so they could get that experience.”
Chaparral won six individual titles to come away with the regional championship, finishing with 215.5 points. Legacy was second with 185, followed by Lakewood (149) and Fruita Monument (128.5).
Senior Taylor Termentozzi is the only Wildcat qualifier who has experienced state in the past.
Termentozzi qualified for the first time as a junior, and after placing second at 171 pounds Saturday, he’ll get another crack at the state’s best.
His only blemish at regionals was a 12-4 loss to top-ranked Mike Morgan of Lakewood. Morgan scored four takedowns and a 3-point near fall in the match to pull away.
Junior Jeff Gonzales was the first Wildcat to qualify, placing third at 125 pounds. Gonzales was coming off a 14-0 loss in the semifinals to eventual regional champion Kurtis Nelson of Chaparral, but held off Brighton’s Josh Bunn 8-6 to take third.
“I was pretty nervous, actually,” Gonzales said. “My strategy, especially this last half of the season, has been to go out really strong and try to get the first takedown, because that builds confidence for me.”
Matt Remy placed third at 215 pounds, scoring a reverse and a 3-point near fall in the third period to topple Lakewood’s Juno Romero 5-0. Anthony Martin was handed a 3-0 loss in the heavyweight consolation final by ThunderRidge’s Billy Martin but avoided a wrestleback.
“Our success has been in our heavier weights this year a lot,” Stockert said. “Those kids came through again in this tournament.”
Justin Bueno (135) placed fifth and Logan McNulty (140), C.W. Waters (160) and Steve Adleman (189) took sixth.
Durango placed eighth with 99.5 points. Ty Penning finished first at 119 by injury default. C.J. Hamby (112) and Justin Whirlow (215) placed second and Rudy Peterson (103) took third.
Olathe, which is ranked second in Class 2A, won the Region 1 tournament in Gunnison with 229 points. Hotchkiss was second with 208.5 and Grand Valley, in its first season in 3A, was third with 173.
Three Pirates — Zach Shank (112), Kyle Piatee (152) and J.C. Jimenez (160) won regional titles.
Olathe qualified 11 of its 14 wrestlers for the 3A state tournament this week.
Hotchkiss and Grand Valley also had three regional champions. Alex Quinonez (119), Ryan Spor (125) and top-ranked Michael Beard (215) earned titles for the Bulldogs. Grand Valley got first places from Jared Tonder (140), Ryan Gallegos (145) and Joe Joyner (285).