Bears win, win again at tri
RIFLE – The back of Andrew Stone’s T-shirt advertised the Rifle High School wrestler as “Tons of Fun”. And the fun started for the Bears when the heavyweight pressed Palisade’s James Harris’ shoulders to the mat in the first period of the next-to-last match of Rifle’s dual against the Bulldogs,Stone’s victory broke a 33-33 deadlock between the two schools, to give Rifle a six-point lead heading into Bears 103-pounder Alex Avila’s match against Lucas Harvey.
The Bears freshman seized the opportunity by pinning Harvey in 2 minutes, 28 seconds to secure a 45-33 team win in the back half of Thursday’s triangular. In earlier action, Rifle downed Eagle Valley 45-29.”The kids really pulled it back together and did a great job to come back,” Rifle head coach Jim Suminski said of the Palisade match.Initially, the Bears had taken a 23-6 team lead over the Bulldogs on consecutive pins from Branton Brown, Eddie Kreimier and Luke Wooten, along with a technical fall decision from Timmy Long in the 135-pound match against Palisade’s Brandon Criespin. But a vastly improved Bulldogs squad rallied back for the tie by winning four of the next six matches.
Dustin Deprospo’s 10-6 decision over Rifle’s Jeff Zimmerman caused the tie and set up the dramatics.For Stone, who started practicing a week ago with Rifle’s wrestlers after a state title run as a lineman on the football team, the match was over quickly. Stone defeated Harris in 1:48. Against Eagle Valley, Stone had the same type of match, wrapping up Devils heavyweight Gabriel Velasquez in 2:38. “This was (Stone’s) first action this year, and we’re pleased getting two pins out of him,” Suminski said. “He’s not where we want him yet, but he’s looking good right now.”Stone and Casie Dunlap were the only Bears to beat their opponents in the Eagle Valley dual. Dunlap bested the Devils’ Brendan Best, 2-1 in overtime. Rifle’s other six wins were by forfeit, when Eagle Valley didn’t have wrestlers in a weight division.
“We expected (Eagle Valley) to be tough and it was a tough dual. Even though they only had seven kids, they were all very good,” Suminski said. Rifle has a tougher task on hand starting today at the annual Warrior Classic at Grand Junction Central High School.Traditionally, the Warrior is one of the best prep wrestling tournaments in Colorado. This year’s 32-team field includes many of the state’s top teams plus five out-of-state teams from Utah, Arizona, New Mexico and California.The two-day tournament opened today at 10 a.m., then resumes at 9 a.m. Saturday with championship, third- and fifth-place matches scheduled to start at 7 p.m. Saturday evening.The two-day tournament opened today at 10 a.m., then resumes at 9 a.m. Saturday with championship, third- and fifth-place matches scheduled to start at 7 p.m. Saturday evening.
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