Rifle overwhelms Montrose
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
RIFLE, Colorado ” The Rifle Bears gym was packed full of cheering fans for the wrestling showdown with the Montrose Indians yesterday evening.
That packed gym could have pushed the Bears to a 60-18 victory.
“We won because of all the support we had,” 119-pound Larry Schmueser said after the match in a still-packed gym. “We wrestled like a team, and the crowd never stopped.”
Rifle’s head coach, John Wisniewski, loved to see the people in the stands, especially for their first home match of the year. His team basked in the crowd’s enthusiasm.
“It was awesome. The crowd was outstanding,” he said. “For the first home dual, I want to see that come out. Once we got our first pin, it snowballed off from there. The energy was great.”
Schmueser won his bout over Drew Schumann with a pin in four minutes, 29 seconds, part way through the third period. Schmueser was down 0-2 heading into the second, but turned that around to a 5-2 advantage on a three-point near fall.
Dano Fugita (160 pounds) started the evening out for the Bears with a 6-4 decision over Braxten Franz. The score was knotted at fours, but Fugita notched a two-point takedown with one second left on the clock in the third period.
“Any time you can get a win right off the bat it fires up the team,” Fugita said. “It would’ve been better if I pinned him, but moving good on the bottom helped me win the match.”
Rifle was down 12-3 after Clancy Garoutte pinned the Bears’ Kiefer Deere in 1:04, and Rifle forfeited at 189 pounds. Montrose looked to be off to a hot start, but Rifle took over.
“We didn’t wrestle well and I don’t know why,” Indians head coach Jack Garrison said. “We started out sluggish. We were out-hustled tonight.”
The Bears were right back on top with back-to-back pins from Brian Key (215) over Brandon Franklin in 1:55, and Tad Davis (285) over Casey Childs in 1:12.
The last points Montrose earned put them ahead 18-15 with Geordon Hudson’s (103) pin of Devon Godeski in 51 seconds.
From there on out they gave up seven pins and a forfeit at 140 pounds. The Bears reeled off 45 straight points to close out the match.
Rifle, and Key, in particular, have been looking toward the Montrose match since they began practice, Wisniewski said.
“At the start of the season, Brian was asking, ‘Where’s Montrose on the schedule?'” Wisniewski said.
Last year, the team went down there for a dual and were defeated.
“The team kind of said that wasn’t the way Rifle wrestled,” Wisniewski said outside of the locker room. “From there, we kind of moseyed through the tournaments, but the guys had their goals set. The whole team fed off of it (the loss).”
This weekend, the Delta Invitational is up next for Rifle. The Bears will be working on the feet and tweaking some moves in practice.
“Getting into the third period, we’re still a little sloppy on our feet,” Wisniewski said.
“We were back on our heels. The boys were straight-legged and backpedaling. I want them to be more aggressive on their toes.”
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