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Rifle, Grand Valley, Coal Ridge tune up for wrestling regionals

Post Independent staff report
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado

RIFLE, Colorado – With some of its key wrestlers resting in advance of next weekend’s 4A Western Regional, Rifle pieced together a 2-3 record at the Friday-Saturday Western Slope League dual team tournament.

The host Bears beat Moffat County (42-36) and Battle Mountain (57-6) and lost to Delta (42-36), Eagle Valley (54-18) and Palisade (66-7).

James Martinez enjoyed a monster weekend for Rifle, going 5-0 with four pins and a major decision.



“He dominated,” Bears coach John Wisniewski said. “He’s been wrestling probably the best I’ve seen him wrestle in a long time.”

Martinez hasn’t lost a match since the Dec. 18-19 Warrior Classic at Grand Junction Central.



Devon Godeski went 3-2 for Rifle at 112 pounds. Tyler Davis wrestled three Friday matches at 171 pounds, going 3-0. He didn’t wrestle on Saturday.

Among those missing in action for the Bears included Larry Schmueser (130), Kyle Shaw (160) and Nick Mellon (heavyweight).

“We had a bunch of new guys in there,” Wisniewski said.

State meet berths will be up for grabs at next weekend’s Western Regional, taking place Friday and Saturday at Mullen High School. The top four wrestlers in each weight class earn a trip to the Feb. 18-20 state tournament at the Pepsi Center in Denver.

PARACHUTE/OLATHE, Colorado – Grand Valley’s wrestling team turned in one final weekend of tune-up action as it readies for next weekend’s 3A Western Regional at Gunnison.

The Cardinals won two of three duals in a Friday quad at its home gym before taking the mat in Olathe for a tri on Saturday.

Grand Valley defeated Cedaredge (44-43) and Coal Ridge (47-21) on Friday. The Cardinals rallied from 23 points down to beat the former, finishing the dual with four straight pins.

Jerrod Busch (135 pounds), Jared Tonder (140), Ryan Gallegos (145) and Tyler Miles (152) delivered those pins for a thrilling finish in front of the Cardinals’ home crowd.

Grand Valley’s only loss on Friday came at the hands of Hotchkiss.

With some regulars out of the lineup, the Cardinals’ Saturday trip to Olathe resulted in a losses to Olathe and Gunnison.

Gallegos finished the weekend with a 5-0 record for Grand Valley, which also saw Miles, Tonder, Busch and David Witt all go 4-1.

Junior Stagg went 3-2 at 103 pounds for the Cardinals.

Stagg also wrestled in one of the weekend’s most exciting matches, narrowly edging Coal Ridge’s Tucker Schultz on Friday.

Down 13-8, Stagg unleashed a desperation move that produced a pin with eight seconds left in the match.

“That was the match of the night,” Grand Valley coach Rick Gallegos said.

With a shorthanded lineup, Coal Ridge finished the weekend without a team win.

Schultz, Trevor Larsen (119), Neal Schultz (130) and Anthony Walker (189) all went 2-2 individually for the Titans.

Next week’s 3A Western Regional tournament at Western State College in Gunnison will decide who heads to the Feb. 18-20 state tournament in Denver. The top four wrestlers in each weight class advance.


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