Hornets’ Davis bad to the bone12 Feb 2017
BY NICK JURNEY THE PUEBLO CHIEFTAIN
MONUMENT — Pueblo County High School’s Justin Davis thought his senior season was stolen.The defending Class 4A 132-pound state champion took it back Saturday by winning the 138-pound championship at the Class 4A Region 1 tournament at Lewis-Palmer High School.Davis had been out for the past two weeks after he felt a pop in his lower leg during a match at the Top of the Rockies Invite at Centaurus High School on Jan. 21.What he heard from doctors wasn’t ideal.“I broke the tip off of my fibula,” Davis said. “And I really sprained it. They said it’s going to hurt, but it’s going to pretty much be like a really bad sprain.”While Davis said doctors advised him not to wrestle, nobody explicitly said he wasn’t allowed to compete.In other words, it was up to him if he could tolerate the discomfort. It was an easy decision.
Davis cruised through the regional meet with a pin in the quarters, a 15-0 technical fall in the semifinals and a pin over Discovery Canyon’s Jared Turner in 1 minute 51 seconds in the championship match. Davis secured his fourth trip to the state tournament at the Pepsi Center in Denver next week and was one of nine regional champions for the Hornets, who ran away with the team championship with 302.5 points and 11 state qualifiers.“I didn’t want it to end like that,” Davis said. “I’ve just been so focused on trying to get back and get my second one (state title). It’s a blessing to be back.”Pueblo County, the No. 1 team in Class 4A and defending state champion, won its fourth consecutive regional title Saturday and outscored second-place Pueblo West by 50.5 points.
The Hornets had finalists in 11 of 14 weight classes and won nine of them.In fact, Pueblo was represented in all 14 championship matches and a Pueblo wrestler won a regional title in all but two weights.Among Pueblo County’s individual champs were the Willits twins — Grant at 132 and Hunter at 152 — who each won their fourth regional crowns.Grant Willits pinned Pueblo West’s Gabe Romero in 2:40 in the championship, while Hunter racked up a 15-0 technical fall in 4 minutes over West’s Donovan Gonzales.With four wins at the regional meet, the twins now jointly own Pueblo’s all-time wins record with 167 — surpassing the previous best of 163 set by Central grad Sonny Espinoza.“It’s awesome to win four regional titles, it means that I’ve had success and have had a great team around me for all four years,” Grant Willits said. “It’s so cool that it ended out like that with me and Hunter having the same amount of wins. It means so much to us.”Also winning titles for the Hornets were Brendon Garcia at 106, Josiah Nava at 113, Nathan Bonham at 120, Christopher Fasano at 145, Dante Garcia at 182 and Donavon Rincon at 195.
Brendon Garcia emerged victorious from arguably the toughest bracket in the tournament at 106, which featured six wrestlers ranked in the top 10 vying for four state bids.Garcia, a 3A state champion last year now ranked No. 1 in 4A, pinned No. 3 Tanner Hunt of Lewis-Palmer in the semis before topping No. 2 Patrick Allis of Discovery Canyon in the championship.“I just had to go out there and wrestle my match, couldn’t let him control anything,” Garcia said. “I’m excited about going for No. 2.”Pueblo West got 10 state qualifiers and had two champions in an impressive effort of its own right. Ryan Stipe won the 160-pound championship, while top-ranked Weston Hunt dominated the 220-pound division with three first-period falls.Hunt stuck Discovery Canyon’s Nate Pastorello, the second-ranked wrestler in 4A who entered with a 31-0 record, in just 1:43 in the final.“It feels good, but overall I’m still looking ahead to the big picture,” Hunt said. “I’m looking for a state championship.”South, in outgoing head coach Jerry Sisneros’ final regional meet, finished fourth and qualified eight for the state tournament including 170-pound champion Elias Manzanares, who won by a 17-2 technical fall over County’s Jayson Davis.“This is a really good feeling to see these kids come together at the end,” Sisneros said. “That’s what you always want. I have a smile from ear to ear.”
Regional wrestling - Class 4A Region 4
East dominates to win regional; East High School qualified 11 wrestlers for state and won the Class 4A Region 4 tournament in runaway fashion Saturday, outscoring second place Mesa Ridge 254.5-203 at Montrose High School.Defending state champion Jace Trujillo won his second regional title at 113 pounds and received the outstanding wrestler award for the lower weights. Trujillo pinned each of his three opponents in the first period, including a 24 second fall over Mesa Ridge’s Devin Lueck in the final. He’s now 36-0 with 34 pins this year.Andrew Lucero won his third regional title for the Eagles, pinning Felix Cano of Glenwood Springs in 2:33 at 120 pounds.
Also winning titles were Ryan Roth at 126 pounds and Aaden Valdez at 132.Roth edged Riley Prough of Glenwood Springs 4-3 in the championship, while Valdez scored a 13-3 major decison over Andrew Bench of Central Grand Junction.The Eagles are ranked second in Class 4A and tied with No. 1 Pueblo County and No. 5 Cheyenne Mountain for the most state qualifiers in the classification.“We wrestled better than we have al year,” East coach Pat Laughlin said. “I expected to qualify eight, and any more than that was icing on the cake. We entered 12 guys and qualified 11, so I’m really happy about that.”
Class 4A Region 3 - Canon City second, qualifies nine; Canon City was second at the 4A Region 3 tournament with 241 points, finishing behind host Cheyenne Mountain’s 277.5 The Tigers had five regional champions, including Zeon Ortega (106), Shane Coffey (113), J.W. Ruona (120), Zac Hanenberg (145) and Xavier Byrne (HWT).
Class 3A Region 4 - Central sends four to state; Led by a runner-up finish by Jimmy Gonzales at 113 pounds, Central had four advance to the state tournament Saturday at the 3A Region 4 tournament at Elizabeth High School. Gonzales scored a pin and a pair of one-point decisions to make the final, where he fell to La Junta’s Isaiah Gamez.Also qualifying were Austin Tapia (third at 126), Leo Palma (fourth at 146) and D’Angelo Roybal (fourth at 170).Lamar won the team title with 221 points. Central finished ninth with 89.5.
Class 2A Region 2 - Rye advances seven, DHPH four; Rye finished fifth at the 2A Region 2 tournament at Custer County Saturday and advanced seven wrestlers to next week’s state tournament in Denver.Colton Sims was the lone Thunderbolt grappler to make the finals, finishing second at 120 pounds. Six other Rye wrestlers all finished fourth to grab the final qualifying spot in their weights. DHPH was led by Brandon Cruz at 126 pounds, who suffered a loss in the semifinals before battling back for a third-place finish.John Mall’s Jonathan Andreatta won his third regional championship with a 10-2 major decision at 126 pounds.
Class 2A Region 4- Rocky Ford sends all 14 to state; Rocky Ford dominated the Class 2A Region 4 tournament at Massari Arena in Pueblo Saturday, qualifying all 14 wrestlers for state and scoring 325 points.The Meloneers had nine individual champions including two-time defending state champion Jacob Rodriguez at 106 pounds, who pinned Holly’s Austin Crum in 36 seconds in the championship.
area state wrestling qualifiers
Pueblo County (11): Brendon Garcia, 106; Josiah Nava, 113; Nathan Bonham, 120; Jax Garoutte, 126; Grant Willits, 132; Justin Davis, 138; Christopher Fasano, 145; Hunter Willits, 152; Jayson Davis, 170; Dante Garcia, 182; Donavon Rincon, 195.
East (11): Saige Gallardo, 106; Jace Trujillo, 113; Andrew Lucero, 120; Ryan Roth, 126; Aaden Valdez, 132; Elijah Wisthoff, 138; Dominic Renteria, 152; Sebastian Benavidez, 160; Zion Freeman, 170; Dominic Robles, 195; Andy Garcia, HWT.
Pueblo West (10): Nick Wilson, 120; Gabriel Romero, 132; Isaac Vigil, 138; Dillon Derting, 145; Donovan Gonzales, 152; Ryan Stipe, 160; Tanner Henderson, 182; Hunter Mooring, 195; Weston Hunt, 220; Jeff Allen, HWT.
Canon City (9): Zeon Ortega, 106; Shane Coffey, 113; J.W. Ruona, 120; Tucker McDowell, 132; Tucker Coffey, 138; Zac Hanenberg, 145; Bailey McBride, 152; Mason Repshire, 170; Xavier Byrne, HWT.
South (8): Xavier Espinoza, 106; Kristian Arguello, 113; Elias Espinoza, 145; Marcus Martinez, 160; Elias Manzanares, 170; Jake Gallina, 182; Phillip Flores, 195; Kyle Aumiller, HWT.
Centennial (4): Jacob Gonzales, 106; Cole Hernandez, 132; Chandler Livingston, 152; James Gallery, 220.
La Junta (5): Isaiah Gamez, 113; Noah Barrett, 120; Deron Bletson, 152; Dax Bender, 160; William Tyler, 182.
Central (4): Jimmy Gonzales, 113; Austin Tapia, 126; Leo Palma, 145; D’Angelo Roybal, 170.
Florence (4): Johnny Masopost, 106; Ty Addington, 145; Logan Kenline, 152; Keaton Green, 160;
Trinidad (3): Dylan Armijo, 120; Jesus Diaz, 170; Casey Hand, 182;
Rocky Ford (14): Jacob Rodriguez, 106; Dillon Jaramillo, 113; Santino Mendoza, 120; Joe Barela, 126; Cody Venem, 132; Carlos Romo, 138; Chris Maes, 145; Dylan Miell, 152; Carlos Magdaleno, 160; Diego Reyes, 170; Jesse Tapia, 182; Ricky Preciado, 195; Enriquez Romero, 220; Greg Garcia, HWT.
Fowler (9): Seth McFall, 106; Dylan Palomino, 138; Sean Graham, 145; Chantz Lange, 152; Dahlton McGhee, 160; Seth Damgaard, 170; Tyson Martinez, 182; Ty Sigler, 220; Garrett Gribble, HWT.
John Mall (9): Chris McKenna, 106; Wesley VanMatre, 120; Jonathan Andreatta, 126; Marshal Ross, 132; Isaiah Sandoval, 138; Trystan Estrada, 145; Nick Griego, 170; Jason Murphy, 195; Dylan Crump, HWT.
Rye (7): Zach Ruiz, 106; Riley Prichard, 113; Colton Sims, 120; Peyton Camper, 126; Will Goos, 152; Kyle Colbert, 160; Derick Samuelson, HWT.
Crowley County (7): Tanner Howells, 120; Colton Gruntorad, 132; Jarod Bauer, 138; P.J. Schurr, 160; Tristan Laver, 195; Hunter Watkins, 220; Cannon Buford, HWT.
DHPH (4): Brandon Cruz, 126; Joaquin Martinez, 145; Dominic Romero, 195; Dante Molina, 220.