Bears sneak by Devils
Post Independent Staff
RIFLE ” Rodney Long knew he was in a position to give the Bears a team victory over Eagle Valley in prep wrestling action Thursday night, but that wasn’t what he was focused on.
Instead, the Bear 125-pounder zeroed in entirely on his opponent, Mason Ewing.
“I wasn’t thinking about the team score. That would have messed me up,” said Long. “I just went in there, and did what I had to do.”
By “doing what he had to do,” Long earned himself an individual win, and the team victory for Rifle.
The 13-7 decision over Ewing, coming in the dual’s final match, broke a tie in the team scoring for a hard-fought 35-32 Rifle win.
“Wow, that was exciting,” said Bear head coach Jim Suminski. “It shows we’re good and we’ve got some high-quality kids.”
Especially in the lighter weights.
Rifle overtook Eagle Valley’s 10-point lead by winning the last three matches of the dual ” all three in the lightest weights.
Tyler Thompson’s pin of the Devils’ Jimmy Benavides at 5 minutes, 17 seconds of the 112-pound match swayed the momentum in Rifle’s favor.
Luke Wooten followed up his teammate’s win with a 14-1 major decision over B.J. Ewing in the 119-pound match.
Then, with the team score knotted at 32-all, the outcome of the dual was put on Long’s shoulders.
Both wrestlers took turns with the lead, but in the second period Long established himself.
“I got caught in some stupid moves in the first period,” Long said of his falling behind 7-6 entering the second period.
“Then I calmed down and got my head into it.”
Long took the lead for good on a reversal with 22 seconds left in the second.
In the last two-minute period, Long distanced himself from his opponent by scoring a quick takedown followed by a three-point near-fall.
“Experience really helped Rodney out,” said Suminski. “Ewing’s a really good wrestler, but Rodney’s been around and he’s wrestled the toughest kids in the state the last two or three years.”
Rifle was further aided in the team scoring by winning four matches by pinfall.
Bears Tyler Cose and K.J. Olmstead recorded back-to-back pins in the 152 and 160 pound matches, respectively.
Later on, Josh Gomez, Rifle’s 215 pound wrestler earned the fastest pin of the dual when he downed David Cuevas in 22 seconds.
Rifle 35, Eagle Valley 32
103 ” B.J. Jaramillo (Eagle Valley) pinned Tom Hooper, 3:46.
112 ” Tyler Thompson (Rifle) pinned Jimmy Benavides, 5:17.
119 ” Luke Wooten (Rifle) major dec. B.J. Ewing, 14-1.
125 ” Rodney Long (Rifle) dec. Mason Ewing, 13-7.
130 ” Kylan Kottenstette (Eagle Valley) dec. Cody Ward, 2-1.
135 ” Chris Best (Eagle Valley) dec. Tyson Thompson, 8-2.
140 ” Tim Scott (Rifle) wins by forfeit.
140 ” Tim Rietz (Eagle Valley) major dec. Jonathon Terry, 20-4.
152 ” Tyler Cose (Rifle) pinned Brendan Best, 3:36.
160 ” K.J. Olmstead (Rifle) pinned Chris Harvey, 1:36.
171 ” Casie Dunlap (Rifle) major dec. Charles Faulhaber, 12-4.
189 ” Brian Saldana (Eagle Valley) wins by forfeit.
215 ” Josh Gomez (Rifle) pinned David Cuevas, :22.
275 ” Gabe Velasquez (Eagle Valley) dec. Andrew Stone, 12-8.
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The Coal Ridge High boys suffered their first 3A Western Slope League loss of the year Thursday night on the road at Gunnison, falling to the defending league champion Cowboys 65-45.