State crown caps season for Delta’s Patton
DENVER — A lingering injury from the football season forced Michael Patton to the sideline during last year’s wrestling season.
At the outset of this season, Patton remained hesitant on whether he would ever return to the mat. But, in the end, the senior from Delta decided he simply could not pass on the potential he still saw in himself in wrestling.
Saturday night at the Pepsi Center, Patton’s decision to return paid huge dividends, as he recorded a 3-2 decision against Jordan Martinez of Skyline to claim the state championship in the 215-pound weight class.
“It took me about a week and a half to decide to come back, but I didn’t want to miss my senior year and I didn’t want to miss an opportunity,” said Patton, who ended the season 35-3.
“I knew I could be a state champ. I came out, the coaches gave me strict rules and I obeyed them, and they led me the rest of the way. The coaches told me the whole time I could be a state champion.”
Although Patton provided the individual highlight among the local competitors, Montrose proved to be the top area team despite losses in two title bouts.
Senior Drew Schumann was pinned by Roosevelt’s C.J. York in a rematch of a pairing from earlier this season that Schumann lost 2-1. Indians senior Bryce Gaber was defeated 5-2 in the 171-pound final by Broomfield’s Connor King, although Montrose walked away with five top-six medals.
“I thought going into this match it would go better, but things just didn’t shake out,” Schumann said. “He was just better than me on my feet.
“But I’m pretty proud of myself. Last year I didn’t place at all, and to go all the way to the final and be in the moment, it was worth it. To be able to say I was in the final is pretty awesome.
“But now I have a whole new set of goals. I’m planning on wrestling in college, and so I have a whole new thing coming on. This is a stepping stone.”
Other Montrose medalists were Kordell Bradshaw, who finished third at 135 pounds; Geordan Hudson, who placed sixth at 125; and Marcus Velasquez, the sixth-place finisher at 140. The Indians finished in sixth place with 82.5 points.
Windsor won the Class 4A title with 111 points. Broomfield was second with 99.
“The kids wrestled well all weekend,” Montrose coach Kevin Passehl said. “We didn’t wrestle like we could in the finals, I don’t think. But I think we had a good tournament all in all. If you come over here and get in the top 10, I think you’ve had a pretty good season. It was a great group of hard-working kids.”
Palisade junior Daniel Salazar capped a 39-6 season by recording a 14-2 major decision against Bobby Amond of Cheyenne Mountain in the third-place match at 125 pounds. Delta collected two sixth-place finishes from senior Mykal DeHerrera at 103 and senior Rudy Fantin at 135.
Delta finished in 12th place with 50 points and Palisade finished 17th with 33 points.