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Andreatta becomes two-time state champ

DENVER — John Mall Panther, sophomore Jonathan Andreatta has done what no other wrestler in Walsenburg or John Mall history has done and become the first Panther to win back-to-back state titles. He had little trouble handling Quinton Montegue of Centauri, who entered the tournament with a 38-10 record. At the state finals, Andreatta defeated his opponent 15-0 by technical pin in a match Andreatta controlled from the beginning of the second period. With no score after 1:50, Andreatta went to work, scoring on the first of his four takedowns as the period ended. He then worked the mats to his advantage, scoring another takedown 24 seconds into the second. With two near-pin points, Andreatta had a comfortable lead, 10-0 after two. The only recourse Montegue could have at winning was to take down the champion and try for a quick pin, but time was running out for the Centauri athlete as Andreatta worked the mat scoring his final takedown and three final points for a near pin as the match ended. This was the third time in four weeks the two had met and as in the past. Andreatta defeated him at Regional 11-1 and at the Valley Classic at the end of January 7-2. While he has yet to pin Montegue, the 15-0 victory was just as sweet. Of the total 64 championship matches, Andreatta’s technical fall victory was the

only such lopsided victory in the 2A ranks and only one of four total matches in the tournament’s championship rounds. In the past tournament wins, Andreatta has showed very little emotion when he won, but in front of the 19,000 fans at the Pepsi Center, Andreatta realized the season was over and he had met his goal of another championship. So he rightly celebrated the victory as he paraded around the mat, holding his finger, ‘I’m number one’ in the air as the crowd cheered. In his semifinal match against Sheridan Harvey of Meeker, who entered the tournament as the number three ranked wrestler in the state, the young Andreatta gave his fans a scare as he fell behind in the first period 2-0 and looked sluggish, but the defending state champion opened up in the second to take control of the match. Andreatta won that match with a 6-2 decision. When asked what happened in the first period, Andreatta said, “I didn’t defend it well in the first.” In fact, he let a few offensive maneuvers get countered. After he won the semifinal match and was in the championship rounds, Andreatta told the HWJ, “My goal is to not only win the championship tomorrow, but to become a four-time champ in four different weight classes.” His comments were made on the eve of his championship bout. Before his match, when asked how he would handle it, Andreatta said he wanted to wrestle “like he knows how to.” He also looked at this match, like all his matches, as a new event, not looking past this match or assuming it was a given he would win based on his prior history against Montegue. Andreatta has some strong goals and a determination which has kept him focused for the past two seasons and will continue to do so through his high school career. When we asked why he was determined to become a four-time champ, he said “I want to make my Aunt Marie (Lytle) proud. She died about a year ago.”