by David Tesitor
WALSENBURG- Seventeen schools from across the region spent two days at John Mall High School to determine who would represent the area at the 2011 State High School wrestling tournament, and as in previous years, John Mall and La Veta will be well represented.
Panther Lorenzo Trujillo was crowned the heavyweight champion on Saturday after he defeated Jacob Adolph by pin fall in 3:46. Trujillo was the only champion from the area. As his name was announced, the John Mall faithful who remained to the end erupted with a thunderous ovation. Trujillo was the last chance for at least one local wrestler to be crowned champion. You would have to go back several years since John Mall failed to crown a champion. La Veta’s WD Arnold (125) and Adam Ortivez (130) wrestled in the championship finals but finished second.
Those qualifying for the state tournament from John Mall include Jacob Tenorio (103), John Paul Vigil (119), John Burch (135), Berrie Archuletta (171), Stuart Pino (171) and Lorenzo Trujillo (heavyweight). From La Veta, WD Arnold (125), Adam Ortivez (130) and Eric Griego (152) qualified for the sweet-sixteen tournament. Biographies and tournament summaries on each of the qualifiers are available in related articles.
As a team, John Mall finished in 5th place with 99 points and the Redskins finished in 8th with 65 points. The Fowler Grizzlies dominated the action with 288 points. Fowler had 13 of their 14 qualify for state. They also had ten wrestlers in the championship finals. In 2nd place was the Del Norte Tigers with 124 points; 3rd went to Custer County with 122 and Ignacio finished 4th with 117.50. The Panthers’ 5th place position did not change as teams entered the final rounds.
John Mall qualified 6 of 8 wrestlers while the Redskins qualified 3 of their 7 participants. While some did not qualify for state, their performance was exciting as was their season. John Mall’s James Sierra finished in 5th place. Sierra finished the regular season 13 and 16. Sierra lost his opening match off an 8-4 decision to Garrett Camper of Custer County. Sierra avoided elimination and qualified for the placement rounds after he gained a pin fall over Rulando DeLeon in 4:08 seconds. Sierra’s third match was a close fought match, taking on Robert Gonzales of Del Norte. Sierra was ahead after the first round scoring the only takedown, but let his 2-0 lead slip when Gonzales scored a takedown and near pin in the second. Sierra could not recover and lost 8-4, thus eliminating him from qualifying for state. His final match was for fifth place where he defeated DeAngelo Martinez of Center. The ending of Sierra’s final match of the season was as exciting as its beginning. Trailing 3-2 in the last few seconds, from an upright position, Sierra scored the takedown with 12 seconds remaining and earned two points to win by decision, 4-3.
For Jacob Pino (145), this was his last chance to qualify for state. Pino, a senior, finished the season with a 19-18 record. He faced touch competition from Amos Abeyta of Antonito. Pino held Abeyta scoreless in the first but fell behind quickly in the second off a takedown and near pin. Pino trailed 5-0 going into the third and was pinned at the 5:08 mark. Pino’s consolation quarterfinal match was against Wyatt Person of Mountain Valley. Pino defeated Person for the second time this season off a 14-3 decision. Pino was then eliminated from the tourney when Dakota Parker of Fowler earned a major decision, 12-3.
The timing is right for a wrestler from the area to once again be crowned champion. The last time one made it to the top of the podium was Bryan Crespin in 2008. The Journal was there to see it happen, and for the fourth year we will be there reporting action live on our web site at www.huerfanojournal.com with links to Facebook. Barring any technological glitches, we will also stream delayed video reports, so if you can not attend in person, check for up-to-the-minute updates on your favorite grappler. We will be the only local newspaper offering live coverage and on-the-mat action.