Young Fruita team stays undefeated in SWL
Dallas Bernal grew up in a wrestling family.
He was in pee wee wrestling, but when he started wrestling on the Fruita Monument High School varsity as a freshman this season, he was still intimidated.
He’s not anymore.
Bernal is one of several underclassmen for the Wildcats who are building confidence this season.
One week after the Wildcats upset Central, they routed an injury-plagued Grand Junction team 43-25 in a Southwestern League dual on Wednesday night at Fruita Monument High School.
“We are a young team,” Fruita junior Lane Young said. “I think people look at us as a pushover, but we’re building confidence. We want to win the SWL.”
After Young pinned Grand Junction’s Jerry Blair in the third period of a 5-4 match at 140 pounds, Bernal rode that momentum in his match against another freshman, Gage Casey.
“I wanted a pin, but he turned out better than I thought,” Bernal said. “I had to get tough and give it everything I had.”
Casey rallied from a 5-2 deficit to tie the match in the third period, but put Bernal in an illegal full nelson to give Bernal a point, then Bernal escaped for a 7-5 win.
Fruita Monument (2-0) led 9-4 after that match.
“We knew where we started would be to our benefit,” Fruita coach Jim Stockert said. “We needed Lane’s match. Bernal stepped up at 45s.
“The kids have wrestled well the last two weeks. We’re where we want to be, but we want to continue to improve and get stronger.”
Kyle Hamaker had to rally to keep the momentum on the Wildcats’ side in a 5-2 victory over Elijah Pittsinger at 152 pounds.
“He wouldn’t let me shoot,” said Hamaker, who banged up his nose in the match. “I had to push through it until I finally worked my cradle.”
Hamaker used the cradle to take Pittsinger down in the third period to tie the match, then scored a two-point near fall for the victory.
Fruita seniors C.W. Waters, Taylor Termentozzi and Steve Adleman pinned their opponents in the next three weights for a 30-4 lead. Matt Remy then won by major decision and Anthony Martin pinned Nate Trumbo for the Wildcats’ seventh and eighth consecutive wins and a 40-4 lead.
Grand Junction (0-1) responded with two pins, one forfeit victory and decisions at 103 to 125, but it was too little, too late.
The Tigers were without four of their varsity wrestlers — all out with injuries — including Jase Casey and Caleb Whiteman with knee injuries.
“I knew it would be tough,” Grand Junction coach Bud Glover said. “Going in, the key was not going to our back. Their experience was the difference. We don’t have the experience we needed tonight.
“They gave 110 percent effort. That’s what I care about.”
Fruita’s Justin Bueno finished the dual with a 9-5 victory over Alex Jay at 130.