Coal Ridge goes 3 for 3, Grand Valley wastes no time
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
DENVER, Colorado ” Typical of a coach, Rob Grumley didn’t bask long in a perfect Thursday showing by his three state wrestlers.
“I couldn’t be happier with two pins and (Neal) Schultz winning big,” the Coal Ridge coach proudly boasted from the stands of the Pepsi Center, site of the Thursday to Saturday state wrestling meet. “But, obviously, tomorrow’s another day.”
Keenan Grumley, the coach’s son and the Titans’ 140-pound dynamo, quickly took care of Richardo Alba in Thursday’s preliminaries, pinning the Lamar grappler in 3 minutes, 38 seconds.
Bradey Gasaway, too, made quick work of his opponent, scoring a pin of Centauri’s Ryan Finnegan in 2:53 in his 189-pound opener.
And Schultz, a sophomore and the youngster of the trio (Grumley and Gasaway are both seniors), scored a 15-8 win over Monte Vista’s Tony Martinez in their 125-pound opener.
All three Titans will compete in this morning’s quarterfinal round, which starts at 10 a.m. for Class 3A wrestlers.
“I’m proud of the boys,” Coach Grumley said. “It’s a long road back if you falter in that first match.”
All three Coal Ridge wrestlers racked up points in a hurry, going on offense in attempts to put opponents away as quickly as possible.
Considering this is the last chance for Grumley and Gasaway to ascend the podium, it’s what they have to do.
“My sophomore and junior year, I was just happy to be qualified,” said Grumley, who leg-locked Alba into a pin. “I’m out to place this year, hopefully. I want it more than I have in the past. I deserve to get it this year.”
Grumley and his Titan teammates will see what they can do about taking another step toward the podium this morning.
James Drinkhouse (130 pounds) started it all by pinning his preliminary opponent in 2:45.
Jared Tonder (140) and Ryan Gallegos (145) followed by blitzing their opponents in less than a minute ” combined.
And Tyler Miles (152) and Joe Joyner (heavyweight) finished off a solid day’s work for Grand Valley’s state wrestlers by recording second-period pins.
The Cardinals, the defending Class 2A team champions, were in fine form Thursday, winning five of seven matches. All in rapid fashion.
“We don’t like to mess around,” Tonder, a junior whose pin of Discovery Canyon’s Zach McEhloes happened in a mere 26 seconds. “We just want to go out there and get it, and then we can have a little fun later.”
Gallegos, who has two-time state runner-up, didn’t mess around either. His pin of fellow 145-pounder Josh Sees (Lutheran) came after 31 ticks.
“He was a little nervous,” Gallegos, a junior, said of his Thursday foe. “I went out there aggressive.”
The five victorious Cardinals return to the mat in Denver for the 3A quarterfinals today at 10 a.m.
Grand Valley’s David Witt (135) and Jerrod Busch (125), who lost their opening matches on Thursday, will wrestle in the first round of consolation brackets immediately after the conclusion of the quarterfinals.
Grand Valley is in third place overall in 3A behind first-place Centauri and second-place Olathe.
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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.