Rifle rallies at Rumble in the Rockies
RIFLE – A smaller-than-usual roster has not been a burden to Rifle’s wrestling team this season. In fact, the Bears use it as a rallying point.”The nine of us are bonding well together,” said head coach John Wisniewski after Saturday’s annual Rumble in the Rockies dual meet tournament at Rifle High.Giving five weights away is a problem for most teams. Rifle sees the deficit as a challenge.Despite the handicap, the Bears won dual matches against Berthoud, 39-36, and Elizabeth, 36-34, both fielding full teams of 14 wrestlers, and only lost by four points to Pueblo West, 39-35.
Three Rifle wrestlers – Tim Long, Tyler Thompson and Derek Fruetel – finished the day undefeated with five wins each. Long and Thompson, both ranked among the state’s best in Class 4A at 152 and 160 pounds, respectively, took perfection another step further.All five of each wrestler’s victories came on pins of their opponents.Long’s quickest match was a 37-second-long win over Jake Rouse of Berthoud during Rifle’s final dual of the day. Thompson needed just 48 seconds to earn a win over Elizabeth’s Zach Myers.Fruetel eclipsed his teammates by putting a 10-second win over Seth Anderson in the Berthoud match. Fruetel also won two more matches on pins with a 14-2 decision against Dan Cleaver from Pueblo Centennial and a 8-0 score over Class 5A Eaglecrest wrestler Ryan Wordcicomer.
Rifle also used outstanding efforts from senior Luke Wooten and freshman James Conrardy in the team wins.Wooten, the No. 1 4A wrestler at 130 pounds, buzzed his way to easy wins over his first three opponents of the day before running into a snag in Eaglecrest’s Rocco DePaulo.Up 3-2 after the first period, Wooten suffered his second loss of the season when DePaulo gained an advantage, then followed up with a pin over the Bear grappler at the 3:01 mark.”Luke just got out of position, and that kid’s a good wrestler,” Wisniewski said.
How about more than good. DePaulo, according to the latest “On the Mat” state polls, is No. 2 in the 5A ranks.”Luke’s a champ, and he’ll bounce back,” the coach added. Wooten proved that point by finishing off Berthoud’s Spencer Sadio in the final match for both wrestlers.Conrardy, who’s settled in as the Bears’ 112-pound wrestler, compiled a 4-1 record Saturday with three wins on pins.Rifle takes to the road next week, competing at the Longmont Tournament Saturday.
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The Glenwood Springs Demons boys swim team won 11 of 12 events and swept the top-3 positions in four of the events to score a dominating team win at the Southwest Conference Championships on Friday.