Max McLean’s quick pin gets ‘Cats going in win over Indians

When Max McLean steps on the wrestling mat, a lot of his anxiety is already gone.

The Fruita Monument High School senior had already watched his twin brothers wrestle at 106 and 113 when he took on Montrose’s Jeff Dick at 132 pounds.

McLean made quick work of his match, pinning Dick in 51 seconds. It was the start of four straight wins for the Wildcats as they claimed a 40-30 Southwestern League dual win over Montrose on Thursday night.

“I’m doing good this season,” McLean said. “After three years on JV and moving up to varsity, this year was a big step for me.”

His brothers, twins Remington at 106 and Dartagnan at 113, are two of three freshmen at the lowest weight classes for the Wildcats. Remington McLean had a tough battle with Montrose sophomore Terrell Banuelos, who is ranked No. 1 in the weight class in Class 4A. Banuelos won by pin in the second period.

Dartagnan McLean jumped to a 5-0 lead and held on for a 11-4 win over Kolton Bradshaw.

Max McLean said it’s tough watching his younger brothers wrestle.

“It’s stressful because they always wrestle before me, and I have to watch them,” he said with a smile.

Freshman Daniel Van Hoose was a winner with a 41-second pin at 120, and senior Ian Konrad followed with another quick pin of 48 seconds at 126.

Montrose kept the dual close with Royal Haulman and Mauricio Zuniga winning at 160 and 170, respectively. Matt Sandoval pinned Fruita Monument’s Dallin Behunin at 138.

At 285, Montrose’s Jesus Casillas came in ranked No. 2 in 4A and aggressively went after Clayton Voytilla from the start, pinning him in 49 seconds.

The senior, who placed fifth at state last year, said he’s happy with how he’s wrestling at this point of the season.

“I learned so much from last year, I’m really confident right now. It’s exciting to see what I can do (at regionals and state),” Casillas said.

The most competitive match of the night was at 145, where the Indians’ Ethan Davis beat Thomas Gaasche by decision. Gaasche took a 4-2 lead, but Davis methodically took over, grabbing a 6-4 lead in the second period before Gaasche escaped with two seconds left in the period. Davis controlled most of the third and won the match 10-7.

One of the most physical matches of the night was at 182, where Fruita’s Ty Taylor outlasted Connor Lawson, 10-4.

The Wildcats’ Chase Clayton controlled Davis Power throughout and finally won by pin at the 3:32 mark.

At 152, Fruita Monument’s Kaden Fife beat Austin Delgado 12-3. Jacob Seely, who is ranked No. 1 in 5A at 195 for Fruita, won the night’s only forfeit.

Fruita head coach Dan Van Hoose said the three freshmen at the low weight classes are showing improvement.

“They’ve done good, they take their lumps, they’re freshmen, but they’re getting a lot of good mat time,” he said.


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