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Injuries deplete Pirate wrestling roster

The past week was a rough one for Pirate wrestlers as injuries continued to dog the lineup and tough competition continued to test the athletes.

The week began with a dual meet loss at home to Durango, 49-18.

Dalton Gregory logged another win at 126 pounds. He defeated Justin Ngo with a tight 10-9 decision.

Danny Shahan won his match at 138 with a 4-1 decision over Justin Marcum.

Friday, the team traveled to Bayfield for an Intermountain League dual and returned home on the losing end of a 55-24 score.

Gregory wrestled up a weight, at 132, and pinned Ian Sandrey.

Cody Snow got a win at 145, pinning Michael Dupree.

Alonzo Hernandez put six points on the scoreboard when he pinned Mike Goodman in a match at 195.

The weekend brought the annual trip to the Alamosa Invitational, a 12-team tourney this year.

The field was rugged, highlighted by the hosts — the No. 1 ranked Class 3A team in Colorado — and Pagosa found itself in 12th place when the wrestling ended.

Coach Dan Janowsky took only five athletes over the pass to Alamosa.

Gregory finished the day in fourth place at 126. The Pirate pinned Derek Sutton of Sand Creek and forged a major decision over Lucas Rivas of Thunder Ridge.

Shahan earned a major decision over Zach Lopez, of Alamosa.

Snow pinned David Bury, of Thunder Ridge.

The biggest problem facing the team during the week was attrition, due to injury.

Regular varsity wrestlers out of action included Chase Purcell, Silas Thompson, Cassidy DeYapp, Morgan Shelton and Creede Wylie.

To compound the problem — wrestlers are allowed only so many matches during the regular season. With quite a few underclassmen available, Janowsky and his staff must be particular when it comes to assigning younger athletes to varsity slots.

“You have 30 points to work with, with each kid,” said the coach. “Some of our kids, our freshmen, are swings. If I throw them into nothing but varsity action, they don’t get any junior varsity action — and they need both. They need to develop. I kept them out of the Alamosa tournament and, when you consider the older guys we have with injuries, we didn’t have many kids to work with. Dalton had some good matches Saturday. In his semifinal, he was doing well, made one mistake and it cost him. Danny is wrestling well and Cody continues to improve.”

The big concern at this point is getting the train back on track.

“The guys who were on the mat wrestled fairly well,” said Janowsky. “In the end, the week looked ugly, but if we step back from it, we remember our plan is to look to the future, with that future including February (and post-season action).

“My biggest concern now is long-term — namely the amount of mat time some of our older guys are missing. Some of the injuries they’re suffering can’t be trained around. The question is whether we can recover that time.”

Despite the struggles, the attitude on the team, said the coach, is encouraging.

“The guys are doing some soul searching. So many of them are young and they are coming to terms with the nature of the sport, with the fact each is responsible for his own success. They have the desire to win and understand, if they do win, it will be the result of what they do and accomplish over time. They got together on their own and met and that was the most positive thing that happened during the week.

“These things take time and, from an educational standpoint, there are fewer lessons more important than learning to work through difficult or unpleasant circumstances. You have to swallow your pride and deal with it. You have to believe you can affect the outcome with your work habits.”

The next chance for hard work to make a difference is tonight as a strong Centauri Falcon team comes to town for a league dual meet. Junior varsity wrestling begins at 6 p.m., with varsity action following.

Friday, the team travels over Wolf Creek Pass to meet an improved Del Norte team in a meet that begins at 6 p.m.

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