Pirate wrestlers ran hot and cold to finish the regular season schedule, defeating Bayfield in an Intermountain League dual meet Feb. 4, then dropping duals to Centauri and Bloomfield, N.M. the next night.
Pagosa beat Bayfield, in Bayfield, 36-30.
Dalton Gregory pinned Drake Rhodes in a match at 112 pounds.
E.J. Romero worked a 14-7 decision over Austin Schupe at 119.
Andrew Clark defeated Joe Zink 10-4, at 125 pounds.
Dakota Miller pinned Michael Dupree at 135.
Will Appenzeller won his match at 140, beating Justin Shupe 20-13.
Waylon Lucero got a victory at 160, beating Brendon Harris 8-3.
Clint Manzanares got a 10-5 decision over Alex Arujo, at 189.
Andrew Rice pinned Thomas Klofton at 215
Preston Sandoval beat Matthew Eckstein 8-1, at 275.
“This was a very exciting meet,” said coach Dan Janowsky. “Every match was hard fought, well contested. Bayfield had some very good performances; they didn’t give us many bonus points. Dalton Gregory (112 pounds) and E.J. Romero (119) did a nice job. It came down to the last two matches and we needed wins from Dalton and E.J. The final score was close, but we won nine of fourteen matches wrestled. It was a nice boost, but we went a little flat the next night.”
The next night, in Pagosa, Centauri (the reigning Class 3A state champs) took the Intermountain League title with a 49-33 win over the Pirates.
Kolby Close won his match at 145 with an 8-6 decision over Corey Coombs
Preston Sandoval pinned Jose Gurule at 215
“We had a chance to beat Centauri,” said Janowsky. “We had to pull off an upset and hold our own at the other weights. We moved Will (Appenzeller) up to 145. He had the lead up to the last part of the match. He did a good job.”
The Pirates took it on the chin in the dual against Bloomfield. The Bobcats scored a 67-11 win (the Pirates’ score being reduced one point due to a penalty).
Two Pirates won matches.
Appenzeller pinned Ryan Rino at 140.
Clint Manzanares pinned Jared Alcon at 189.
“We had a couple of things go bad in the early matches,” said Janowsky, “matches we could have won, but didn’t. Then, the wheels came off the wagon and their momentum just crushed us. This has happened to opponents in our favor and it has happened to us. The up side is that I’ve found that something like this motivates the guys more than anything you can tell them as a coach. We had a workout on Saturday morning and put it behind us. I feel like we’re looking ahead.”
Looking ahead, as in preparing for this week’s regional tournament at Trinidad High School. The top four finishers in each weight class qualify for the state tourney the following week
The Pirates received some favorable seedings for the regional event with five wrestlers seeded in the top three in their classes and three in the top four.
“This tells us we have a fighting chance,” said the coach. “We have a lot of guys who are very capable, but we need to wrestle consistently — not be affected by the highs and lows. When we give up points, we need to just go ahead and wrestle.”
Centauri and Florence come into the mix with strong squads; Trinidad has a well-rounded team this season.
“Every team has individual athletes who are good. Every team brings at least two or three guys to the tournament who can advance,” said Janowsky.
Action begins at the Trinidad High School gym Friday at 2 p.m.
Saturday the semifinals are scheduled for 9 a.m. with final matches tentatively set for 3:30 p.m.