‘Dogs get better of Bears
RIFLE – You can remove the tag of “rebuilding” off the current Rifle wrestling team.
Heading into the 2002-03 season, the Bear roster was filled with a number of unknowns who waited on the JV team for the veterans to graduate.
While Rifle didn’t come away with a victory, the outcome of Thursday’s dual meet with Moffat County raised some eyes, along with Rifle’s confidence.
The Bears gave the No. 1 team in Class 4A more than they expected. The 43-31 loss was the Bulldogs’ narrowest margin of victory over Rifle in recent memory.
Moreover, the Bears had pulled themselves within two points of the Bulldogs after completing a 12-point swing in the team scoring.
The push started when Rifle heavyweight Kye Hunter pinned Bulldog Kyle Fredrickson with three seconds left in his match followed by Eddie Kreimeier’s forfeited victory when Moffat failed to enter a wrestler in the 103-pound division.
The Bulldogs rebounded by winning the final two matches in easy fashion, but the final outcome doesn’t take the shine off Rifle’s accomplishment according to coach Jim Suminski.
“I told the team before the dual that we were right there,” he said. “On paper, we weren’t close to them, but you don’t wrestle on paper – you wrestle on heart.”
And hearts were pumping at a feverish pace the duration of the dual.
The Bears’ Cody Ward scored an impressive pinfall in 1 minute, 47 seconds over Hampton Brookshire in the 130-pound match.
Then, victories by Jesse Long and Anthony Alfini rekindled the Bears after losing four straight matches.
Long dominated in a 11-1 major decision over Moffat 160-pounder Shayne Zimmerman.
Alfini earned a 4-2 decision over the current Class 4A No. 2 wrestler Brandon Duarte in the 171-pound.
The Bear senior scored the match’s first points with a first period takedown, then waited to the 1:13 mark of the third period to score again.
His takedown opened a 4-0 lead, which Duarte shaved in half when he reversed Alfini’s hold in the final minute.
“It was a great battle,” Suminski said of the match. The coach said that the two had wrestled earlier in the season. Alfini lost to Duarte in the first go-round when “he gave up two cradles.”
Rifle has a 6-3 win-loss record in dual matches this season. It wrestles at the 16-team Eagle Valley Tournament on Saturday before resuming dual action against Western Slope League foes Delta and Palisade in Palisade the following Thursday.
Moffat County 43, Rifle 31
103 – Eddie Kreimeier (R)won by forfeit; 112 – Eric Fredrickson (MC), pinned Luke Wooten, (R), 3:11; 119 – Bryan Hampton (MC) major dec. Tyson Thompson, 10-1; 125 – Korey Koster (MC) major dec. Rodney Long (R), 14-6; 130 – Cody Ward (R) pinned Hampton Brookshire (MC), 1:47. 135 – Kaleb Brown (MC) pinned Tyler Cose (R), 3:45; 140 – Jason Mosher (MC) dec. David Suminski (R), 6-3; 145 – Ty Grandbouche (MC) pinned Dane Shaffer (R), 1:13. 152 – Ty Weber (MC) pinned Casey Dunlap (R), 2:36; 160 – Jesse Long (R) major dec. Shayne Zimmerman (MC), 11-1; 171 – Anthony Alfini (R) dec. Brandon Duarte (MC), 4-2; 189 – Nick Worley (R) pinned Brent Chamberlain (MC), 5:32; 215 – Scott Garmutte (MC) pinned David Yowell (R), 1:07; 275 – Kye Hunter (R) pinned Kyle Fredrickson (MC), 5:57.
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