HUERFANO- The Colorado State High SchoolWrestling Tournament begins today at the Pepsi Center in Denver. Twelve wrestlers from Huerfano County have qualified and will be seeking a state title. You can get updated information on their progress by going to our website at www.huerfanojournal.com.Here’s a rundown on the local wrestlers and their stats:
Brian Aguirre, (130) JM
Brian Aguirre, Freshman, has been wrestling 11 years. This experience earned him his first berth at State when he wrestled in the regional Championship match, finishing second. As the seventh seed entering competition, his victory proves anyone can win at any time. He narrowly lost to the number one seed, Rich Bailey of Hilltop Baptist. His parents are Charles and Josephine Aguirre.
Jonathan Aguirre, (135) JM
Jonathan, a Senior, is the number two seed with a 35-6 record. This will be his third visit to state. Jon finished second, losing to Ortivez of La Veta. In his previous two visits he failed to advance to the championship rounds. Jon has been wrestling since third grade. His parents are .Charles and Josephine Aguirre.
Clayton Archuletta, (125) JM
Clayton Archuletta, Sophomore, who has been wrestling for 4 years, earned his second trip to the Big Show, by capturing the 125 pound Regional Championship, defeating Joe Duran of Antonito in a 3-1 decision. In his first trip, Clayton was injured and went two and out. He is the son of Barry and Gina Archuleta.
Bryan Crespin, Heavyweight, JM
Bryan will be making his 4th appearance at state entering the competition as the number one wrestler in the state. In fact, Bryan has been ranked in the top three positions in the state since he was a freshman. A dislocated shoulder last year kept Bryan from earning a state title. He is a four time regional champion and wants to capture state this week. He is the son of Rick Crespin.
Stewart Maldonado, JM 112 pounds
Stewart Maldonado, Junior, has been wrestling in high school for two years. He wrestled in junior high for three. He finished 5th in Regional action and earned his berth at state by defeating Fidel Francisco of Center in a wrestle back, knocking the Center grappler out of the state competition. He is the son of Randy and Lora Maldonado.
Ron Ortivez, (135) LV
Ron Ortivez , a Sophomore enters the championship round as the number one seed with a 21-2 record. He finished as Regional Champion, defeating Jon Aguirrie of John Mall. (see related story) This is his second trip to state. As a freshman he finished 2 and out. Ron has been wrestling ever since he could walk, being trained by his father/coach, Ron Sr. His parents are Ron and Dreama Ortivez.
Stephen Kimbrel, (140) LV
Stephen, a Junior, is Regional Champion, advancing himself into state competition. This will be his second trip to the Pepsi Center. Last year, Steve went two and out. Steve has been wrestling for twelve years. He is the son or Ron and Terri Kimbrel.
Alex Sample, (140) JM
Alex, a Sophomore, earned his first berth at state by finishing 4th in regional competition.
This is his second year as a wrestler and he mounted an incredible comeback in February earning him a shot at state. He is the son of Alex Sample Sr.
Jonathan Ortiz, (171) JM
Jonathan, a Senior, was the number four seed with a 29-12 record. This will be his third visit to state. Jon finished third, beating Aaron Williams of Monte Vista by pin. In his previous two visits he failed to advance to the championship rounds. Jon has been wrestling since third grade. His parents are Richard Ortiz and Johnetta Rush-Garbiso.
Nicholas Northup, (189) LV
Nick, a Sophomore, will be making his second trip to state after finishing 2nd at Regional, losing to the number one seed, Alonso Rodriquez of Delores Huerta. This also marks his second year as a wrestler, gaining experience with every match. He is the son of Bob and Lisa Northup.
James Smalley, (215) LV
James, a Freshman, wrestled in junior high for two years, earned a berth at state by capturing 4th at regional. He lost his opening bout to the number one seed and eventual champion, Carlos Lopez of Center. He plans on working hard this week to face what is sure to be fierce competition. James is the grandson of Jim and Connie Smalley.
Derric Franklin, Heavyweight, LV
Derric , a Junior, has wrestled in high school for only one year. He also wrestled in junior high one year. Derric finished 4th in this years regional, earning him a spot at state. He is the son of Boyd and Dana Franklin.
Boys Split Games
ORDWAY-PUEBLO- The John Mall Panthers looked impressive against Crowley Thursday beating the Cougars 59-54. The hot outside shooting of Craig Eccher, with four 3-pointers and 23 total points propelled the Cats to their fifth win of the season.
The following night, the Cats’ offense could not overcome DHPA’s defense in the fourth quarter, and the Panthers fell 73-46.
Lady Redskins Steamroll through Competition
LA VETA- The Lady Redskins continued to pursue a berth at state by dominating their competition in this weekend’s hoops action. The Skins simply outplayed their opponents from the opening tip-off. The assault began on Friday when the Skins hosted the Wildcats of Aguilar, beating them 52-24. Aguilar played more like pussycats, failing to contain the Lady Skin’s hot shooting. The Redskins got the job done, securing their role as top seed in the upcoming district play.
The following night, the Ladies tamed the Tigers of Holy Trinity Academy 62-9.
Coach Smith’s team came out with an aggressive full court press and fast break. The Skin defense held the Tiger Cubs to 2 first-half points, while the Skins’ offensive machine yielded 24. La Veta kept up the pressure offensively in the second half scoring 38. All the Lady Skins saw action and most everyone scored. According to Smith, he “wanted to run the Tigers and not relent,” and the Lady Cubs did seem to grasp their sides, struggling to find their breath to finish this battering.
As the Redskins prepare for districts and Regionals, which begin on February 26, they must continue their onslaught as competition will get tougher. La Veta will visit Primero and Aguilar this Friday and Saturday.
LA VETA- The Redskin boys continued their winning ways by defeating the Aguilar Wildcats 60-33 last Friday. The Skins continue to play well and to prepare for post-league action. La Veta opened the game with a powerful offensive barrage, outscoring the Wildcats 24-4 in the first with fast breaks and dominance in the lane as well as under the boards. The relentless Skins scored from all over the court and did not allow Aguilar any clear shots from the inside. The Cats also scored from the free throw line as they converted 14 of 18 shots and scored three 3-point shots. The Skins will travel to Primero and then again to Aguilar this weekend. District action begins next Thurs. Feb. 28 at Adams State college.
ORDWAY-PUEBLO- The John Mall Ladies lost a pair of games this past week, falling to Crowley County 66-48 last Thursday, then to Dolores Huerta 33-29 on Friday. It looked as if the Cats would tame the Crowley Cougars because they played an impressive first quarter, setting up plays and controlling the ball to open a 12-9 lead. Things seemed to fall apart in the second and they were outplayed. The Cats found themselves trailing 26-14 by half. They played good ball in the second half but could not make up the deficit. Kristin David appears to be recovered from her earlier injuries as she lead the Cats scoring with 19.
The following night DHPA beat the Cats in a low-scoring encounter. Both teams had trouble finding the hoop in this sloppy game. David was the leading scorer with 12.