Indians in control: Montrose continues dominance on the mat in win over Wildcats

Jordan Passehl from Montrose High School, top in red, turns Joe Leigh from Fruita on his back, in the 189-lb. class. Passehl won 9-2 to go 24-0 for the season.

Wrestlers on the Montrose High School varsity team have been Southwestern League champions ever since they were in high school and they intend to keep it that way.

The Indians took a big step toward winning a fourth-straight Southwestern League title with a 41-22 victory Thursday night over Fruita Monument at Fruita Monument High School.

“Coach told us we needed this one for the Southwest League,” Montrose senior Michael Canavan said. “I like to think of myself as a leader to all these guys. Basically, we need to get the job done.”

The Indians (2-0 SWL) won despite forfeiting two matches. They racked up 24 points with four pins and won seven decisions.

“Pins were tough to come by, but all of the kids wrestled tough tonight,” Montrose coach Kevin Passehl said. “We knew this would be a tough dual. We worked extra hard in practice this week. Things worked out good. We wrestled tough.”

Fruita Monument (1-1 SWL) built a 19-12 lead beginning with a forfeit victory at 145 pounds and a forfeit victory at heavyweight. Dallas Bernal won a major decision at 152 and Kyle Hamaker won a decision at 160.

Montrose, then, took command of the dual with six wins in the seven lower weight classes.

Canavan (23-5) started it off at 103 pounds, pinning Matt Bishop in 1:25 to close the gap to one point.

“It was another match for me,” Canavan said. “I knew I had to get six. I went out and got the job done.”

Geordon Hudson (25-3) gave the Indians a lead with a major decision at 112 then Kordell Bradshaw (20-7) pinned Nick Stanfield in 22 seconds at 119.

“We needed to go out there and pin for six,” Bradshaw said. “That was our motto all week. We went out there and just did it.”

Drew Schumann (22-1) pushed Montrose’s lead to 15 points with three matches left by pinning Justin Byers in 2:28 at 125.

Fruita’s Jeff Gonzales kept the Wildcats’ slim hopes alive with a 3-2 decision over Marcus Velasquez at 130, but Montrose’s Chris Sandoval clinched the victory with a 17-8 major decision over Ryan Barakat at 135.

Dustin Easley sealed the Indians’ win with an 8-6 overtime decision at 140.

“We didn’t win by big at 30s and we were hoping to there,” Fruita coach Jim Stockert said. “That kid is a tough kid. He’s wrestled us tough both times. We knew it could be real close, if we got wins where we could possibly get them, but it didn’t happen in some of those places. We battled tough and lost by decisions, but nobody went out and rolled over.”

Montrose’s Kyle Gaber (25-2) pinned Jerritt Winegardner in the first period at 171, Jordan Passehl (24-0) won a 9-2 decision at 189 and Braxten Franz (26-2) squeaked out a 3-2 decision at 215 on a Matt Remy stalling penalty.


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