Demons top Huskies, Titans in home Tri-Duals
A return to health by a number of key Glenwood Springs wrestlers, and a huge pair of wins by junior Max Burrell sparked the Demons to a sweep of their home Tri-Duals matchup against Battle Mountain and Coal Ridge, as the Demons knocked off Battle Mountain 48-33, and Coal Ridge 64-6, snapping an 8-match losing streak to open the season.
“This kind of got that gorilla off our back,” said Miles Cook, Glenwood Springs’ Assistant Coach. “It was nice to come home, put some points up, and have the guys build off of each other. The Battle Mountain match was kind of tight there in the last couple of matches. We had to keep going out there and battle. We’re so young and so green, for these guys to know that every match and every point matters is big. We’re still in that pin or be pinned mentality. We just need to keep working with our kids, keep battling and don’t quit.”
The Demons battled all night, especially Burell. The standout junior, who battled an illness all last week, returned to the lineup for the Demons and promptly sparked Glenwood as he pinned Battle Mountain’s Andore Horruitiner in the 132-pound match in just 2:34, giving Glenwood a slim 24-18 lead over the Huskies midway through the match. Prior to Burrell’s win by fall, freshman Ray Rosenmerkel dispatched Battle’s Patrick Sherowski in the 106-pound match in 22 seconds with a fall, while 285-pounder Bryce Wheeler pinned Battle’s Jeremiah Vasquez in 3:03.
Following Burrell’s win that gave the Demons a narrow lead, 138-pound junior Erik Krauth jumped out to a quick 4-0 lead over Battle’s Ignacio Velasco before pinning the Husky at the 2:49 mark, giving Glenwood a 30-18 lead.
Glenwood senior Joaquin Garcia made it 36-18 Demons with a win by fall over Luke Adelphia at the 1:28 mark. Garcia held a 14-0 lead at the time of the fall, which seemingly put the Demons in control over the Huskies.
However, a slipup by Glenwood senior Joshua Sanchez in the 152-pound match turned the tide in favor of the Huskies briefly. Sanchez held an 11-1 lead midway through the match before Battle’s Juan Sarrios found life, escaping for a point and scoring a takedown before catching Sanchez trying to escape off the bottom of a restart. Sarrios recorded the win by fall at the 3:35 mark, sparking the Huskies.
“We talked after the match; Josh just loves to hit that crawfish when he’s on the bottom,” said Cook. “He tried it there and just got sucked back a little bit. Sometimes with a match like that, we tell him to forget about that because you can get sucked in. He just has to forget about it and move on.”
After Sarrios’ win, Battle’s Anthony Sanchez pinned Glenwood freshman Kaden Howe at the 2:02 mark, and Victor Ortiz defeated Glenwood’s Tucker Porter by decision, 15-9, pulling the Huskies to within 3 points at 36-33 with two matches to go.
Fortunately for Glenwood, standout junior Amos Wilson pinned Battle’s Marshall Jones in 3:13, and junior Spencer Cloud picked up a win by forfeit in the 195-pound match, giving the Demons a 48-33 win for the first team win of the season.
Glenwood stayed on a roll against a shorthanded Coal Ridge team, topping the Titans 64-6.
Opening up the match against the Titans, Wheeler pinned Coal Ridge’s Rafael Sanchez in 55 seconds in the 285-pound match, while Rosenmerkel and Dakotah Aguirre picked up forfeit wins, setting up Burrell’s showdown with Coal Ridge’s Kyler Jones.
The Glenwood junior took control early, sprinting out to a 10-3 lead, but Jones battled back down the stretch, making it 17-7 match in the third period. Two late escapes by Jones capped off the scoring at 20-11 Burrell in one of the best matches of the night.
“He has so much talent; it’s important to get him going early,” said Cook. “If we can get him going and get him to take that next step, that will be huge. You watch him wrestle, he’s about the slickest kid we have on this team. He’s got so much talent. It’s exciting to see him get fired up early and get him rolling. Hopefully he’s able to keep this going.”
Holding a 22-0 lead after Burrell’s win by decision, the Demons saw Krauth pin Coal Ridge’s Jared Richel in 2:32, while Sanchez pinned Burbeck in 50 seconds, getting back on track after a frustrating loss in the Battle Mountain match.
Howe, who is wrestling up two weight classes for the Demons, jumping from 145 to 160, pulled off an incredible reversal in his match against Coal Ridge’s Dominic Centeno, flipping off of his back down 8-1 to pin Centeno for a huge Glenwood win, igniting the home crowd inside the old Chavez-Spencer Gymnasium.
“He’s doing yeoman’s work out there for us,” said Cook. “There’s a lot of things we need to fix with his technique right now, but he just never quits. He’s a fighter and it was awesome to see those reversals back to back. The one thing we talk about with him is that once he gets someone on their back, they don’t come back.”
Coal Ridge got on the board late as Kaden Lord pinned Glenwood’s Chris Otero in 42 seconds.
The first dual of the night saw Battle Mountain and Coal Ridge square off, with the Huskies coming out on top, 39-12.
Against the Huskies, Coal Ridge’s Jones pinned Battle’s Hayden Krueger in 30 seconds in the 132-pound match, while Lord won by forfeit in the 220-pound match.
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The Glenwood Springs-Rifle sports rivalry goes way back for GSHS baseball coach and former Demons multi-sport student-athlete Eric Nieslanik.