Rare move not enough
Hoffschneider surprises opponent, but Mavs fall to Grizzlies
Grand Junction High School graduate Jessie Hoffschneider nearly pulled off a rare move, and Central graduate Willy Holdren nearly pulled off a surprise victory.
But it wasn’t enough Friday night to help Colorado Mesa defeat Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference preseason favorite Adams State. The 15th-ranked Grizzlies won the first five matches and held on for a 24-18 victory at Brownson Arena.
Hoffschneider ended the 13th-ranked Mavericks’ losing skid in the dual as Mesa won four of the final five matches, but it wasn’t enough.
“The first five were rough on us,” CMU coach Chuck Pipher said. “We had a couple guys out, but so do they. The good thing is we get ours back, and theirs are gone.
“We saved a little face there in the last five matches.”
The Grizzlies (5-6, 3-3 RMAC), who lost two All-Americans for the season to injuries, only gave up two escape points in the first five matches, and those were by top-ranked Ryan Fillingame to Jonathon Stelling in the 141-pound match. Stelling was wrestling up a weight class because of a knee injury to the Mavericks’ Daniel Salazar.
“Stelling had a tough deal wrestling the No. 1 kid,” Pipher said. “No doubt, we need a better performance out of 25s and 33s. That makes it a swing deal. We needed two out of three from 25, 33 and 57, and we didn’t get a one of them.”
Salazar had his knee scoped Friday. Pipher is optimistic Salazar and No. 2-ranked James Martinez (149) will return for regionals in three weeks.
“We held guys out this weekend to get healthy,” Pipher said. “Whether it would’ve changed the dual, who knows? But we’re holding guys out for the long haul.”
Fourth-ranked Hoffschneider not only scored the first takedown points for the Mavericks (9-4, 3-2 RMAC), but the first win in the dual with a 9-6 decision at 165 pounds. The redshirt freshman nearly had a pin in the third period.
“That’s a move I learned in high school,” Hoffschneider said. “I actually pinned a really tough kid in high school with that move. From a high crotch, you sit to your hip and lock his elbow, but I had his leg and locked it and rolled him up.
“It’s a rare move. I’ve tried it twice, and I didn’t get it before. I think the ref didn’t recognize it. It’s a funky move.”
Hoffschneider (18-5) was trailing 5-4 when he took Mark Mabry down and locked his leg for a 9-5 lead. Hoffschneider held it for a few seconds, but the official didn’t give him the pin.
“It was a defensive pin,” Pipher said. “I don’t know what (the official) was really looking for, but from what I saw he was flat at one point, but I’m not the guy out there. Refs are reluctant to call that. They want to make sure it was there and not just call it.”
CMU’s Chester Granard followed with a 3-0 decision.
“(Garcia) wrestled not to lose (against Granard),” Pipher said. “Chester will have that.”
Pipher gave redshirt freshman Holdren a shot to wrestle at 184 pounds, a weight Mesa has forfeited since returning from Christmas break, and Holdren nearly stole a victory despite giving up 14 pounds.
“It started out as a joke,” Holdren said of him wrestling at 184. “Pipher said, ‘You might be dancing there.’ I kind of laughed and said, ‘OK.’ A couple days later he said, “No, really you might be dancing there.’ “
Paco Retana energized the crowd again, racking up a quick takedown and near fall before pinning Dakota Bencomo in the first period at 197 pounds.
Jordan Passehl fed on the momentum and pinned his heavyweight opponent in the third period.
Colorado Mesa hosts CSU-Pueblo at 7 tonight at Brownson Arena. It is the final home dual of the season and Senior Night for the Mavericks.