Valley takes Team Title 3A Region 213 Feb 2017
BY Melanie Johnson-ICW Staff
3A Region 2 was as good as it gets for wrestling fans, coaches and wrestlers, especially if you were one of the top 4 who punched the ticket to go to State. Valley took home the team title with 222.5 pts. Eaton would finish 2nd, with 200.0 pts. and Brush in 3rd with 143.0. Valley would finish the day taking 9 wrestlers to State, that total would include 4 Regional Champs. 120 lb. Javier Gonzales, 132 lb. Brandon Damian, 145 lb. Aaron Trujillo and 170 lb. Josh Flanagan. The 132 weight class was closely watched across all 3A regions. One of the best matches in the 132 lb. bracket was Jr. Ariel Rodriguez of Eaton vs. Sr. Jacob Breidenbach of Sterling. In an overtime match that brought fans to their feet, Breidenbach and Rodriguez would go head to head for 6 minutes ending 4-4 at the end of the third. Rodriguez would pull off the win in overtime scoring 2 and unfortunately it would be the downfall for Briedenbach as he would try and finish in the top four in the consolation side. After beating Syzmanski of Holy Family (Fall 2:37) in his next match, Breidenbach would advance and then lose to So. Binkly of Berthoud (Dec. 6-4) ending his chances at a State run. Rodriguez would lose to Damian in a close match in the semis (Dec. 3-2) and would continue on the back side beating Jr. Hunter Kitchen of Estes Park (MD. 14-0) to go for 3rd and 4th.
Rodriguez would take 4th after losing to Binkly (Dec 4-1). So. Brandon Damian of Valley would see Sr. Garrett Miller in the finals at 132. Damian showed once again why he is ranked #1 at this spot as he would dominate the match over Miller (Dec. 5-1) and earn the title Regional Champion at 132 lbs. In the 138 lb. bracket Fr. Hunter Branson of Holy Family had every intention of going to State he just wasn’t sure who he would have to beat to get there. Beating Jr. Wyatt Thyfault of Weld Central in the semis ( Fall 3:57) would take Branson to the finals where he would see Sr. Matt Bailey of Berthoud. Bailey the #2 seed and a State placer two years ago would lose to Branson in a (MD. 14-5). Winning a Regional title this year and going to State has a little more meaning for Branson as he will get to join his cousin Sr. Kolsen Welham (Holy Family) as they both take a trip to the Pepsi Center. Welham who recently committed to wrestle for Oregon State last week, ended the day as a Regional Champ at the 160 lb. weight class. The other bracket to watch was 152 lbs. The top 4, 3A ranked wrestlers held a spot in this bracket. Jr. Jimmy LaConte of Weld Central dropped from 160 to compete in the 152 bracket and it turned out to be a good move on his part. Ranked #1 at this spot LaConte earned the title of Regional Champion in the finals over #2 ranked Fr. Jaziah Whaley of Valley (Fall 3:28). #3 ranked Fr. Isaiah Salazar of Eaton would beat #4 ranked So. Wyatt Pfau of Brush (Dec. 2-1), both taking the final two spots to head to the Pepsi Center.
The finals have finished, the Regional Champions have been decided and wrestlers, fans and coaches head for the doorway. For some the day is not finished. With anxiety and emotions running high, wrestling continues on for 10 wrestlers. 5 weight classes would see challenges with a wrestle back for a true 4th pl. finish. 106 lb. Matthews of Valley, 138 lbs. Pringle of Eaton and 285 lbs. Stoos of Valley would all keep their true 4th place finish and win their challenges. The same would not be said for 113 lb. Jr. Byron Mayo of Bennett, after celebrating his place in the top 4, Mayo would leave in defeat as Fr. LT Torres of Berthoud would beat Mayo in the challenge with a ( Dec. 8-2). The 170 lb. weight class would also see an upset as Jr. Wyatt Larson of Berthoud would cause the upset over Fr. Brian Paxton of Weld Central with a (Dec. 4-1). As you can only imagine, Berthoud was celebrating both wins since it upped their total from 4 to 6 wrestlers they would be taking to State. Berthoud also finished the day with a 4th place Team total of 133.0 points. A shout out to Head Coach Tony Mustari and the rest of the crew at Eaton, You guys ran a great Regionals and I know it was appreciated by all who attended. Good luck at State to all that qualified.