The Pagosa Springs High School wrestling team finished the equivalent of two matches behind Centauri High School in an away dual meet Thursday evening, continuing their losing streak.
Though finishing behind the Falcons, Pirate wrestlers recorded four wins on pins and notched one forfeit, despite competing without two key upperclassmen — Will Appenzeller (shoulder injury) and Ty Lobato (precautionary reasons).
“We felt like we had done a respectable job there and I felt like, yeah, we lost, but it was one of those where the kids put up a good fight,” said Coach Dan Janowsky.
Showing proof of the “good fight,” Dalton Gregory and Cody Snow won their matches in comeback fashion, finding a way to come from behind and finish with pins.
In the 125-pound class, Gregory pinned Centauri’s Shane Wilson in 5:20.
In the 152 bracket, Snow pinned Gabe Casillas in 5:46.
In addition, Janowsky said Dakota Miller and Preston Sandoval did their “usual solid job” while recording wins for the Pirates, with the upperclassmen wrestling younger athletes from Centauri.
Miller, in the 140-pound bracket, pinned Dan Sowards in 41 seconds, while Sandoval pinned Tylen Pavlovsky in 1:59 for a win.
While the wins and forfeit ultimately brought the Pirates to within the equivalent of two matches to Centauri in points, Janowsky was also pleased with the effort and ethic shown by Pagosa’s younger wrestlers.
Pagosa wrestlers Blake Roman and Chase Purcell faced former state finalists at the meet and, though coming out of the matches on the losing end, Janowsky said the Pirates made their Falcon opponents earn the points to beat them.
“I thought they approached it with the right attitude and I just really felt like they were offensive,” Janowsky said, adding, “Even in defeat they can elevate the morale of the team with a good effort like that.”
Pagosa will look to take that strong morale to Durango tonight and turn it into an offensive showing at a varsity dual meet set to begin at 7 p.m.
The Pirates will then head back to La Jara for a dual meet tournament at Centauri High School Saturday, which Janowsky sees as an opportunity to gauge his team’s progress on the season thus far.
“I feel really good about our progress and I’m expecting to see that when they wrestle,” Janowsky said, adding that the Pirates will face a number of teams they faced earlier in the season.
“We’ve put a series of practices together that I think really do indicate ... just a lot of intent to improve and be the best they can be this year,” Janowsky said, adding, “Nobody’s hanging their heads.”