Worth the weight: Coal Ridge junior switches weight classes, prevails in OT
PEACH VALLEY — Lane Nelson’s win-loss record in the 132-pound weight class so far this season isn’t something that he was proud of.
“Let’s just say that it wasn’t good,” the Coal Ridge High School junior said during the Titans’ dual against Eagle Valley at the Coal Ridge High gym.
It wasn’t long after that statement that Nelson admitted to his 6-8 win-loss record prior to his team’s 52-27 loss to the Devils on Thursday. He also admitted, however, that it was a relief to finally lose the past two pounds he needed to for him to move into a weight class he felt he could be more competitive at.
“I kind of think that it was a little more mental than anything else,” Nelson said. Being a little underweight kind of bummed me out. I was right in between the cutoff between 126 and 132, so it was a relief to get those last two pounds off. I felt a lot better coming in knowing that I’m just as strong as those guys and just as conditioned. Plus, I weighed the same.”
The move paid off for Nelson to the tune of a 7-5 overtime victory against Eagle Valley’s Raul Lopez in what was, hands down, the most competitive match of the night. And the scrappiness that Nelson displayed in his victory personified the personality of the mostly young and inexperienced Titans.
“I have six or seven first-year wrestlers in the room, which is good and bad,” second-year Coal Ridge coach Kalvin Deere said. “It’s good because it means my sport’s getting attention, but that also leaves a lot of catching up to do. That’s the main reason why one of our primary focuses has been on our intensity and physicality. I think the kids really accomplished that tonight.”
Nelson definitely did even after Lopez matched him on every score until the overtime, when Nelson was able to cradle his opponent from behind and turn him onto his back for a two-point takedown just 35 seconds into the extra period.
“As soon as he shot, it was just a matter of … getting him to come toward me,” Nelson said. “It was a little bit of a struggle, but I got it done.”
Nelson wasn’t the only Coal Ridge wrestler who had his arm raised at the end of his match.
One was junior 106-pounder Danny Wenzel, who managed a pin of Lexi Valdez at the 2:36 mark of the match. Also winning by pin was freshman 195-pounder Couy Harrington, whose second-period reversal to snap a 3-all tie resulted in a pin at the 3:52 mark. Eddy Baez, who moved up from the junior varsity to varsity at 152, pinned Justin Morrison at the 2:32 mark.
Eagle Valley, however, had plenty of victories by pinfall. They included a pin by Devin Ward over Nick Carbone at 182 in just 12 seconds, and a pin by Chris Comroe, who wrestled up a weight class to 145 and pinned the Ttians’ Jacx Power in 58 seconds.
Coal Ridge will wrestle again on Saturday when it competes in the annual Eagle Valley Invitational in Gypsum.
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Area prep basketball teams begin their 2019-20 campaigns with tournament action both home and away this weekend.