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Andreatta is 2A wrestling state champ

DENVER — The finals match between Jonathan Andreatta and Stocker Robbins of Ignacio, who is ranked 7th in the state, offered great wrestling action. When the final buzzer sounded, it was Andreatta whose hand was raised. After manhandling the Ignacio freshman and leading 7-0 before the fall, Andreatta won by pin in a time of 3:17 seconds. Andreatta had a takedown late in the first and nearly pinned his opponent after the first round, which gave him a 5-0 lead. The second period was all Andreatta as he held on to Robbins and worked him on the mat until he got the shoulders down for the count. Andreatta can relax now that the season is over, and can look forward to next season, with hopes of repeating as champion. For now it is time to change the banner in the gym to include his name. Both wrestlers worked hard to get to the finals and Robbins deserved to be there. He scored an upset in his semifinal match against Tanner Watson, the number

four ranked wrestler in the state. ‘On the Mat’ had Andreatta picked to finish first, Watson from Akron second, and Robbins to place fifth, but upsets disrupted the picks. The final match in the 106 pound weight class was between two freshmen. This was the only finals match pitting two freshmen in the whole tournament. In the lower weight classes, only three other freshmen were in the finals among all divisions. To get into the finals, Andreatta sent an early message to the rest of the field when he pinned Zachary McCrary of Calhan who entered the tournament with a 5-24 record and the number sixteen seed. Andreatta pinned his opponent in 25 seconds, dumping him like a rag doll and getting the pin. The quarterfinals saw Andreatta struggle throughout the match. His opponent drew blood and a time out was called to stop the scrape from bleeding more. According to Coach Josh Vialpando, they burned the wound and Andreatta continued with the match. Andreatta was able to control the match, winning a hard fought 6-2 against William Hickman (38-9) of Lyons. The semifinal matchup between Jonathan Andreatta and Jacob Rodriquez of Rocky Ford was a thriller and for Panther fans could have been a déjà vu moment, remembering another Panther who fought to get into the finals. Andreatta won in a 2-0 decision. Andreatta knows Rodriguez’s style having beaten him on a previous occasion. Rodriquez was the number three ranked wrestler in the state. This matchup could easily have been the final match were it not for the fact that the brackets had these two as best wrestlers in this class. The finals match against Robbins was not the first time the two have met. In fact, the first was at the Aztec Warrior Championships Greco and Free Style age 15 and under tournament in April 2013 when they were in middle school. Andreatta won in a 3-0 decision over Robbins. More recently, the two faced one another when the Panthers traveled to Dove Creek for a tournament before the Christmas break. Andreatta defeated Robbins 10-2 in that encounter. The strategy Coach Vialpando had when he scheduled a tournament so far away was, “We wanted to give our kids a chance to face competition they normally would not have met otherwise.” The strategy paid off. After the final match Saturday, the HWJ spoke with Andreatta about his tournament experience. He was very humble and modest and all he could say, as his infectious smile beamed across his face, “It was a great time.” After he won the match, there wasn’t the fanfare one would normally see when a wrestler wins a championship. He simply raised his hand and pointed his one index finger to the sky, symbolizing this is the first one. He has three more fingers to go before he can accomplish what only seventeen people have been able to accomplish – that is to win four consecutive state titles. Andreatta is now the man to beat, and it is time to change the banner in the gym to include our newest champion.