Hoffschneider wins CMU open
Last week, Jessie Hoffschneider got a taste of college wrestling, and he liked it.
The Colorado Mesa University freshman quickly learned what he’s in for and proved he can handle the competition.
Hoffschneider rolled through the 165-pound bracket Saturday at Brownson Arena to win the Colorado Mesa Open tournament. Open tournaments are not scored for team points.
“I was on a mission this weekend,” Hoffschneider said. “I had my first tournament last weekend, and I didn’t do as well as I wanted. I think I got a little nervous and second-guessed myself a little being my first college tournament.
“I made sure I ate good and cut my weight right so I’d have energy for this weekend. The main thing that went through my head this whole tournament, whoever steps in front of me on the mat, I’m going to beat.”
Hoffschneider was one of three individual champions and 13 Mesa wrestlers to place in the top six of its tournament.
“He’s tough,” CMU coach Chuck Pipher said. “He’s the real deal. He definitely makes our team better.
“He kind of wrestled the college style in high school, sound on his feet and tough on top. He’s well-coached, no doubt about that.”
Four of the 13, including Hoffschneider, wrestled unattached, so they don’t lose the possibility to redshirt this season.
In college wrestling, wrestlers designated to redshirt can wrestle in open tournaments unaffiliated with their institution.
Hoffschneider pinned his first opponent in the first period, then scored back-to-back technical falls. He squeezed by Travis Saxon of New Mexico Highlands 4-3 in the semifinals, then scored a 12-3 major decision victory over Justin Frazer of Colorado School of Mines in the final.
Mesa 149-pound sophomore James Martinez rolled to the finals where he bumped into junior teammate Justin Schumacher.
The two are competing for the starting position when the dual season gets rolling in January. Martinez built a 6-2 lead and held on for a 9-7 victory.
“I got out in a good lead, which really helped me,” Martinez said. “I gave away like four penalty points because I kept jumping the whistle. He’s so tough on top. I was trying to get out of the bottom as quick as I could.”
It wasn’t enough to wrap up the starting spot yet, Pipher said.
“James wrestled a good, sound match, but I wouldn’t say anything’s decided yet,” Pipher said. “We don’t have any duals for a couple weeks. Who knows? They’ll probably hit each other again (in a tournament). It’s hard to determine anything yet.”
Mesa senior Nick Petersen won the 184-pound title, getting a forfeit over teammate Zak Slotten.
Mesa freshman Daniel Salazar reached the 133-pound final but lost to former Olathe High School state champion Zach Shank, who is redshirting at Western State Colorado University. Western State sophomore Kyle Piatt didn’t wrestle.
Mesa’s Trevor Donarski, who is redshirting this season, took second at 157 pounds, and Paco Retana took second at heavyweight.
Returning starters Tyler Nelson, Jon Gappmaier and Chester Granard were held out of the tournament to rest minor injuries.