WALSENBURG- Over two hundred kids ranging in ages from 3-14, weighing a slight 31 pounds to a whopping 175 pounds, squared off in the final peewee tournament of the season in Walsenburg last Saturday. Participants from as far north as Denver and south as Taos, brought their aspiring, future state champs to compete. It seemed an equal number of volunteers helped out, keeping this day from complete chaos.
Stormy weather could not keep these mini-athletes from competition in the wrestling clinic put on by Adams State Coach, James Reynolds. He brought with him National Champion Jared Deaguero and All-American grapplers, Joey Deaguero and Evan Copeland. All three learned their skills through the Peewee leagues, which are not sanctioned by the schools but run solely by the volunteer efforts of parents. Some of our local heroes also began here: names like Bryan Crespin, Ron Ortivez, the Aguirre boys, Stephen Kimbrel and Coach Josh Vialpando to name a few. According to La Veta coach Ron Ortivez, “This is my 14th year as a parent. I began when my son, Ron III, was 2 ½.” The La Veta coaching staff were all there as parents and volunteer coaches, encouraging these youngsters.
To accommodate such a large crowd, the two mats which filled the John Mall gym floor were subdivided into four mats which made the 30-second matches for the youngsters and minute matches for the older grapplers run smoothly. According to Walsenburg coach, Josh Vialpando, “these kids pretty much stay in one place and are not rolling around a lot.” To witness this event was like seeing a freight train rolling through the gym. Matches were over as fast as they began.
It wasn’t until the third and fourth matches of the round-robin format that the action became more intense. The younger kids got tired; feelings were hurt. Some of these younger wrestlers wanted to just play, some didn’t seem to know what was happening and some were bulldogs, going for the win. As you got into the eight-year and older rounds, the children seemed more focused. It was common to hear the names of children whose fathers had wrestled in high school. This is the learning field for the future Redskin and Panther teams. Most of these grapplers will abandon wrestling for other interests, but for those who make it into junior high, they likely will continue grappling through high school.
As the older kids competed, the skills were more refined and decisive. They executed holds with expertise. They had the desire to win, to hone their proficiency and not give up. There were more pins, more points and the action resembled a wrestling match.
For Walsenburg’s Chris Ortiz, who wrestles in the age 14 and under, 137-pound class, the season was capped off with an undefeated record. The same can be said for La Veta’s Dawson Menegatti, who weighed in at a scrappy 48 pounds. He too was undefeated in the six and under class; Ty Warren was unbeatable this season in the 59-pound, eight and under class. Also capping off an incredible, invincible season and Peewee career was Josh Teague. Teague competed in the 14 and under, 155-pound class. Both he and Ortiz will soon compete in high school, ready for mat action and someday for a shot of glory at the Pepsi Center, wrestling for the state champ title.
Panthers Split Doubleheader
PUEBLO- The Panthers traveled ahead of a snowstorm to a dry Pueblo where they met the Scorpions of Dolores Huerta Prep Academy. They split the Saturday games to garner their first win of the season.
The Cats opened the game by hitting the ball well, capitalizing on Scorpion errors and opening up a five-run first inning. Panther Jonathan Aguirre pitched a solid game, giving up only three runs in six innings. When the dust settled, the Cats found themselves on the winning end of a wild 14-10 game. According to Coach DeHerrera, “We had a good start and our defense was good. Jon pitched well and Michael Vigil did a good job behind the plate.”
Some costly errors and slow defense in the second game led to 14 Scorpion runs in the first three innings. A change of guard on the Panther mound in the third inning slowed the pace down and relief pitcher, Zach Vigil pitched a solid three and one-half innings, giving up one run. While the Panthers got their defensive momentum going, the offense kept the Cats within striking distance. In the end, their rally fell short as the DHPA beat the Panthers 15-12.
Scores for last Tuesday’s game with Crowley County were not available as of press time, so they will be posted on our website, www.huerfanojournal.com.
The Panthers host Custer County in a doubleheader tomorrow, April 18, beginning at 10; then they travel to Primero to face the Bulldogs Saturday for two. They will round out the week when they travel to La Veta on Tuesday the 22nd. The Panthers are improving with every game and will be formidable opponents as they close out the rest of the season.
8th annual Redskin Golf Tournament
LA VETA- Duffers’ delight. It’s that time of year again for the Redskin annual golf tournament played on the scenic Grandote Peaks course. Make plans by May 1 to play and have a great time. Prizes will be awarded based on team handicaps and also on gross and net scores. Shotgun play begins Sunday, May 4th at 9 am. The format will be a four-person scramble. Participants may sign up their own team or be assigned to one looking for members.
Cost of the event is $75 and proceeds will benefit the Redskin athletic department. Obtain registration forms by calling Don Price at La Veta High School (742-3662) or at his home (742-3702). If you or your business would like to sponsor a hole, please let Don know.
La Veta to Host Regionals
LA VETA- La Veta was tentatively chosen to host the 2A Regional Wrestling Tournament in 2009, February 12-14. If there are no problems and site selection is not contested by other eastern slope schools, the CHSAA Board of Control should approve La Veta as host site.
LA VETA- Both the baseball and track teams found themselves staying at home this week, looking at a white, muddy field. Needless to say, games were cancelled and will try to be rescheduled.