Greeley Central late charge to take team Title At Valley Viking Tournament01 Feb 2017
By Greeley Tribune
The Greeley Central Wildcats didn’t need all nine lives Saturday. Maybe they needed about seven or eight, but not all nine. Trailing the host Valley Vikings for most of the afternoon, the Wildcats had plenty of late life, rallying in the finals to win the team title for the second straight year at the Valley Invitational. Greeley Central scored 205.5 points to hold off Valley, which was the runner-up with 193 points. The Wildcats had four individual champions to make up about a 30-point deficit heading into the finals. Junior 113-pounder Josh Nira (30-5) lit the fuse for Central with his championship win. Sophomore 126-pounder Andrew Alirez (36-1) and sophomore 138-pounder Tony Ulaszek (33-8) continued to work on the deficit. Senior 170-pounder Andrue Rojas (29-4) effectively served as the closer. His 3-2 nail-biting finals win against Valley junior Josh Flanagan (30-4) firmly shifted the team race from the Vikings and into the Wildcats’ hands. “It really builds team chemistry, seeing these guys pull through with us all being able to do our jobs,” Rojas said. “We’re really conditioned, and our coaches push us. They challenge us every day in practice.”
While Greeley Central went 4 for 4 in the finals, Valley went 2 for 7. Every bit as important as Rojas’ late-tournament heroics were the bonus points the Wildcats racked up in their three previous finals matches. Nira pinned Valley freshman Noah Damian (23-9) in 52 seconds. Alirez earned a 25-9 technical fall against Roosevelt junior Bo Slaymaker (28-9) in 4:12. Ulaszek pinned Platte Valley senior Adrian Rodriguez (28-7) in 1:15. “I felt like we really clicked and did what we are very capable of doing,” Ulaszek said of his team’s late-tournament charge. “We pulled out some tough matches and did our best.” Rounding out the field In addition to Greeley Central’s and Valley’s top 2 team finishes, Platte Valley placed fifth with 125 points. Eaton was sixth with 114, followed by seventh-place Highland with 92. Roosevelt was ninth with 83. University placed 13th with 58.
Outstanding Wrestler - Wrestling in his final home invite of his high school career, Valley senior 145-pounder Aaron Trujillo (28-2) earned the first Outstanding Wrestler award of his career. He pinned all four of his opponents, including three first-period pins. He pinned Delta’s Kole Roberts (29-10) in 1:31 in the finals. “This was definitely something that I wanted to get today,” Trujillo said of his OW award. “I would have been disappointed if I didn’t get it.”
Bragging rights - In a matchup of highly touted freshmen, Eaton’s Isaiah Salazar (16-2) narrowly got the best of Valley’s Jaziah Whaley (30-3), topping him 5-3 in the 152-pound finals. Whaley is second and Salazar is fourth in On the Mat’s latest 3A 152-pound rankings. Salazar went up 2-0 on a single-leg takedown just 21 seconds in. Whaley trimmed the gap in half with an escape with 1:10 left in the second. Salazar returned the favor with an escape 11 seconds into the third period. After a scramble, Whaley tied the match with a takedown with 26 seconds left. The winning points came after Whaley was called for his third caution with 15 seconds left. Whaley surrendered a free escape at that point, but Salazar fended off Whaley’s shots in the final seconds. Salazar beat Longmont’s second-ranked 4A wrestler Nathan Morris, 5-2, in the semifinals.
Topping the podium - In addition to Central’s quartet, Salazar and Trujillo, five other Weld wrestlers topped their bracket.
Roosevelt freshman Angel Rios (25-5) won at 106 when she topped Highland’s Logan Lewis, 11-5.
Platte Valley had two champions: junior 120-pounder Varrion Ciddio (27-6) and senior 195-pounder Jeremiah Land (29-3).
University senior 220-pounder Caleb Meisner (28-4) topped Valley’s Jesus Garcia, 4-0.
Valley junior 132-pounder Brandon Damian (28-3) topped Bennett’s Garrett Miller, 8-4, in a matchup between top-4 wrestlers.
Damian is ranked first by On the Mat in 3A at 132. Miller is fourth.
Miller led for the first two periods until Damian went up, 5-4, on a takedown after a scramble. For good measure, Damian locked in a cradle with 8 seconds left and scored a late near-fall to win 8-4. “I was very confident from the beginning of this match,” said Damian, who has two previous wins this season against Miller. “I just really wanted that win. If I would let him go (after the takedown), then we might have went into overtime. So, I just wanted to ride him out.”
Team Scores — Greeley Central 205.5, Valley 193, Moffat County 132, Delta 126.5, Platte Valley 125, Eaton 114, Highland 92, Longmont 83.5, Roosevelt 83, Berthoud 78.5, Steamboat Springs 74.5, Sterling 63, University 58, Holy Family 46.5, Bennett 35, Wiggins 35, Lyons 28.5.
106 pounds — Angel Rios, Roosevelt, dec. Logan Lewis, Highland, 11-5; 113 — Josh Nira, GC, pinned Noah Damian, Valley, :52; 120 — Varrion Ciddio, PV, dec. Javier Gonzales, Valley, 6-1; 126 — Andrew Alirez, GC, 25-9 tech. fall Bo Slaymaker, Roosevelt, 4:12; 132 — Brandon Damian, Valley, dec. Garrett Miller, Bennett, 8-4; 138 — Tony Ulaszek, GC, pinned Adrian Rodriguez, Platte Valley, 1:15; 145 — Aaron Trujillo, Valley, pinned Roberts, Delta, 1:31; 152 — Isaiah Salazar, Eaton, dec. Jaziah Whaley, Valley, 5-3; 160 — Engelking, Longmont, dec. Welham, Holy Family, 5-2; 170 — Andrue Rojas, GC, dec. Josh Flanagan, Valley, 3-2; 182 — Peroulis, Moffat, pinned Santander, Delta, 1:42; 195 — Jeremiah Land, PV, dec. Tony Lucero, Highland, 3-2; 220 — Caleb Measner, UH, dec. Jesus Garcia, Valley, 4-0; 285 — Church, Delta, 15-0 tech. fall Emmanuel Munoz, UH, 4:48.
106 pounds — Ricky Zavala, GC, def. Cox, Moffat, by match limit; 113 — Loft, Sterling, dec. Dante Chirichango, Highland, 4-1; 120 — Croissant, Wiggins, def. Hayden Gavette, Eaton, by match limit; 126 — Hector Flores, Highland, def. Holm, Wiggins, 7-3; 132 — Binkly, Sterling, dec. Skyler Score, Highland, 11-7; 138 — Bailey, Sterling, dec. Miles Beam, Roosevelt, 8-4; 145 — Justus Strand, GC, def. Bryant, Steamboat, by match limit; 152 — Morris, Longmont, dec. Dillingham, Delta, 6-1; 160 — Braeson Lewis, Eaton, def. Jonny Guerrero, GC, by match limit; 170 — Klimper, Moffat, pinned Larson, Berthoud, 3:47; 182 — Bean, Lyons, maj. dec. Policaro, Longmont, 16-5; 195 — Book, Sterling, pinned Komives, Delta, :56; 220 — Hume, Moffat, dec. Joe Cockroft, PV, 1-0; 285 — Alex Yeadon, GC, def. Tristan Stoos, Valley, by injury default.