GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colorado - Call it a learning experience, one that someday the Glenwood Springs High School wrestlers may be teaching to other teams.
Facing a senior-laden Pueblo West squad that boasts four wrestlers ranked in the 4A state top-11, the Demons learned some tough lessons on the mat in a 63-12 dual meet loss.
Glenwood's team scoring came from two forfeits, while the Cyclones registered six pins, two technical falls and three wins by points. The Demons didn't record a single match point until the tenth contest of the day. The only lead a Glenwood grappler enjoyed came during the final pairing of the meet.
The Cyclones were competing in their second meet in as many days with an additional trip to the Rifle Duels today. Pueblo West head coach John Falls said his team is turning up the intensity at the right time.
"I've never been disappointed with this group," Falls said. "This is the largest senior class we've had in a long time and they're starting to peak right now."
Glenwood coach Guy Brickell is in the midst of a major rebuilding season with a team roster made up of mostly all sophomores and freshman.
Brickell described this season as an "ultimate storm" after losing several wrestlers to injuries from fall sports, as well as seeing a good portion of last year's team leave to wrestle at Basalt High School this season. Basalt, which hasn't had its own wrestling program for the past decade, had been competing with the Demons as one team, but the school brought back its own wrestling program this year. Glenwood currently has only three juniors and one senior - Erick Madrid - competing on its varsity roster.
Madrid was the only Demons wrestler to hold a lead during the meet at 2-0 before dropping his match 10-2 to Cyclones senior Kyle Bludworth, one of the four ranked Pueblo West competitors.
Madrid was honored before the meet by Glenwood Springs Athletic Director Craig Denney for his leadership and perseverance.
"Our team is so young," Madrid said. "But we have a lot of talent. If this group of guys stays focused and listens to the coaches, they'll be successful."
Pueblo West senior Trevor Encinias started the meet by pinning Glenwood freshman Thomas Richards in the first period to set the tone of the match. Despite the lopsided scoring, several Glenwood wrestlers put up solid performances against opponents that likely will be competing at the 4A state tournament next month.
One of the better matches featured Erik Romero of Pueblo West, ranked No. 3 in the 4A state classification, against Demons junior Joel Ordonez. Romero ultimately pinned Ordonez, but he had to work for it as Ordonez held his own in the early stages of all three periods before eventually getting pinned late in the match.
"It's been a little painful at times with so many young guys," Brickell said. "But the kids are solid and game to get out there and learn.