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Fledgling Cardinals show promise

PARACHUTE – With an eye aimed at the future, the Grand Valley and Rifle JV wrestling teams’ current skills manifested into a entertaining dual meet between the two area schools.

The 33-13 final score in the Rifle JV victory is somewhat misleading.

Subtract the 12 points the Cardinals forfeited to Rifle, a Class 4A school, in two of the nine matches, and it shows the first-year Grand Valley program is on track toward being competitive in the Class 2A Western region.



“I’m excited. The kids scraped a lot. We’ve still got some growing to do, but we’ll be alright,” said Grand Valley coach Rick Gallegos.

And the victory Rifle’s JV recorded over the Cardinals is a good indication that an already strong Bear varsity will be better maintain its strength when these wrestlers move up to the next level.



The Bears recorded all three pinfall victories in Tuesday’s dual. Rifle’s Craig Gose dispelled Chance Brackett in 1 minute, 49 seconds in the 145-pound match. Brad Burger nailed Grand Valley’s 119 pounder Philip Mackey in 3:03, and, in the 130-pound match, Rifle’s Jonathan Terry defeated Drew McFarland at the 3:14 mark.

Among the matches that went to a decision, Rifle’s Brett Burger and the Cardinals’ Jesse Neely had the wildest contest of the night.

The 112-pounders tussled through a 17-14 affair that wasn’t decided until the third period when Burger followed up a lead-gaining reversal with a two-point near-fall in the waning seconds.

Neely gained a one-point lead in the second period, then fell behind when Burger scored a takedown on the opening whistle to start the final two minutes.

Both wrestlers reversed each other’s holds until Neely earned a one-point escape with one minute left when Burger took control.

Cardinal freshman Justin Busch, who wrestles at 125 pounds, earned a 14-2 major decision over Tim Scott, taking a 6-0 lead after the first period, and finishing with two three-point near falls.

Grand Valley’s Matt Morgan overcame the early lead that Rifle’s Garrett McCormick built up for a 6-4 decision on an escape, followed by a two-point near fall in the third period.

In the other two forfeited matches, Rifle’s Garrett Burner and Andy Stone earned wins.

Contact Phil Sandoval @ 945-8515, Ext. 538

sports@postindependent.com


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