Ignoring pain, Central’s Rodriguez wins first-round match in Class 5A
DENVER — A sore shoulder wasn’t about to keep Jesus Rodriguez from his appointed Class 5A state wrestling appearance.
The Central High School junior 125-pounder had earned his spot in the tournament and he wasn’t going to waste it.
Despite possible torn muscles in the back of his right shoulder, Rodriguez soldiered on Thursday.
Trailing Adams City’s Aaron Ortiz 7-6 with 45 seconds remaining, Rodriguez got a reverse and held Ortiz tightly with his left arm to take an 8-7 first-round victory.
Rodriguez injured the shoulder in Saturday’s championship match of the Class 5A Region 4 tournament at Central. His status was questionable until Thursday evening, but he wasn’t about to be denied.
“I had no idea (if I would wrestle),” Rodriguez said.
On Monday it looked doubtful. On Tuesday he got a cortisone shot and it felt better.
“Right then I knew I was going to wrestle,” he said.
Being nine pounds overweight, he spent Wednesday and Thursday dieting.
Rodriguez was part of a strong showing for the Warriors in the first round.
His twin brother, Daniel, won his opening 130-pound bout 5-3 over Mike Jaquess of Sand Creek, getting the final points on a takedown with 1:25 remaining.
Central began the evening by winning its first four matches.
Defending state 103-pound champion Matthew Gurule won by a 17-2 technical fall over Brighton’s Jordan Padilla.
Gurule’s cousin, Jaqub, trailed Elias Rosales of Lakewood 2-0 at 112 pounds, but came back to tie the match midway through the second period and got a mid-period takedown in the third to earn a 4-2 decision.
Conditioning played a part in the victory, Jaqub Gurule said.
“The coaches said (Rosales) was gassed,” he said.
Central’s own Rosales, Zach, broke a 3-3 tie in the third period to decision Caleb Spaulding of Fort Collins 9-3 at 285.
Zach Short (135) and Tony Summers (145) lost their first-round matches for Central.
The Warriors are in ninth place after the first round with 11.5 points. Ponderosa took the lead with 21.
Grand Junction went 3-1 in its first-round matches.
Freshman Dylon Thompson pinned Jacob Boyd of Chaparral in 1:21. Anthony Guillen followed at 119 with a 12-2 major decision over Justin Hayes of Coronado.
Another freshman, Jessie Hoffschneider, won a 7-5 decision over Derrick Chavez of Pomona.
Jace Casey lost his 140-pound bout, a tough 4-3 decision to Mikie Burgess of Green Mountain.
The Tigers scored nine points and are in 12th place.
Jeff Gonzales got the Fruita Monument contingent off to a good start, edging Michael Balagna of Grandview 3-2.
A junior competing in his first state tournament, Gonzales’ view from the floor was far different from the one he had experienced as a spectator.
“My excitement definitely outweighed my nerves,” he said. “Oh man, it’s a relief.”
Teammate Taylor Termentozzi won 8-2 in his 171-pound opener over Pasha Lookian of Cherry Creek.
Wildcats Matt Remy (215) and Anthony Martin (285) both lost by decision.
Durango’s CJ Hamby (112) and Ty Penning (119) advanced to the quarterfinals.