Summers hungry for state title
It wasn’t what Tony Summers’ mother fed him for dinner Thursday that fueled his desire during Friday’s first day of the Class 5A Region 4 wrestling tournament at Central High School.
“I didn’t have dinner (Thursday) night,” the Central senior said of his effort to make weight for the regional.
“It’s my last year (and) I’m going to make something out of it,” he vowed after victories in the first two rounds of the
Entering the tournament with a 7-18 record, Summers pulled off two upsets, taking a 9-6 decision over Willy Gustin of Cherokee Trail in the first round, then knocking off Hoang Nguyen of Denver South with a pin in 1 minutes, 21 seconds in the quarterfinals.
Summers didn’t want to leave anything on the mat in his final regional.
“Quitting doesn’t feel good,” he said.
“Tony was a pleasant surprise,” Central coach Laurence Gurule said. “He went above and beyond.”
Summers’ effort helped Central take the team lead after the first two rounds. The Warriors scored 88 points, six points more than Northglenn.
Seven Central wrestlers advanced to this morning’s semifinals, with the other seven still alive in the consolation bracket.
Trailing in each match, “I just told myself to keep going,” Summers said.
He’ll face the tournament’s No. 1 seed, Robby DePontbriand of Douglas County, in today’s semifinals, but that doesn’t concern him.
“I wasn’t seeded at all to begin with, so it doesn’t matter,” Summers said. “I have nothing to lose and everything to gain.”
Matthew Gurule (103 pounds), Jaqub Gurule (112), Jesus Rodriguez (125), Daniel Rodriguez (130), Zach Short (135) and Zach Rosales (285) all emerged unbeaten for the Warriors.
After gaining 10 pounds last week when he thought he wouldn’t wrestle after a grade report mixup, Daniel Rodriguez spent the week dropping that weight for the tournament. A teacher forgot to turn in a report last week and Rodriguez thought he wasn’t eligible, but it turns out he was.
“I just did what I do all week. I watched what I ate,” he said. “You have to work really hard in practice to get it off.”
Grand Junction lost only one wrestler after the first round of consolation and had three — Dylon Thompson (103 pounds), Anthony Guillen (119) and Jesse Hoffschneider (135) — move on to the semifinals.
Guillen won by major decision and pin.
“It’s always good to get those butterflies out,” Guillen said of eliminating the first-round tournament jitters.
He’s taken the approach this season that all of his matches are preparation for next week’s state tournament.
“I just always go for that first takedown,” he said.
The second round of consolation begins at 9 a.m. today, followed approximately two hours later by the semifinals.
The Parade of Champions begins at 3 p.m., followed immediately by the championship matches.
The top four finishers in each weight division earn berths in next week’s Class 5A state tournament at the Pepsi Center in Denver.
By KENT MINCER