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Sports for Feb. 28

Jon Aguirre Places Sixth

DENVER- Jonathan Aguirre of John Mall placed sixth in the 2A Wrestling Tournament last Saturday afternoon.  He won his opening bout, beating Colin Eberhart; then lost his second round match, placing him in the consolation round.  Aguirre won his third and fourth bouts putting him into the placement rounds.  He faced Jared Tonder of Granby and lost in a controversial fast pin count. He completed the tourney defeating Javiar Garcia for sixth place honors. 

   The Journal reported the results of every match on our web page as they happened.  For the rest of this story and all the web-paper postings, including how all the rest of area grapplers fared, visit


DENVER- Bryan Crespin’s name can be added to the elite few young men from Walsenburg who can claim the title STATE CHAMPION.  Crespin defeated Kyle Pollock of Wiggins to earn the honor.  Crespin joins Brett Corsentino, Pete Gomez III, Gino Trujillo, Shann Salazar, Ivan Pacheco and Jessie Vialpando to reign as champion.  Crespin is the first heavyweight to claim the honor.

     For John Mall’s Bryan Crespin, his entry into the finals was sweet.  After four years of hard work, his effort paid off.  During Saturday’s early rounds Crespin seemed relaxed and at ease, fully aware of the prestige of his up-coming match.  Yet this gentle giant was polite, respectful and eager to talk.  He knew this was his shot, something which had eluded him in the past due to injuries.  He’d been to State before and knew what to expect.  He said he’d be ready to fight.

    After pinning Kenny Westfall of Northpark in 4:27 in the quarterfinals, Crespin squared off against Jeremy Lund of Wray to determine which mammoth grappler would be in the finals.  Lund had pinned John Hinton, the number two seed, in his quarterfinal match-up, to earn this shot in the semifinals.  Hinton had been the last wrestler to defeat Crespin in a controversial decision and Bryan had been looking forward to retribution.  He’d settle for the championship instead. 

    Crespin came out strong and wrestled Lund for three hard rounds.  Crespin won in a 6-4 decision, earning his spot in the championship round.  His victory set up a rematch with Kyle Pollock of the Wiggins Tigers, whom he had defeated earlier at the Limon tournament in triple overtime, in what was described then as the possible state final. 

    Crespin was the number one seed while Pollock, at State for the first time, entered this competition as the number three seed.  As the two heavyweights squared off to begin the biggest match in their young careers, both held onto one another, sizing up their strength and stamina.  In the first round, both grapplers remained upright, failing to score points.     As in the previous bouts Crespin fought, he went to work in the second.  Like a true Panther, stalking his prey, in this case a Tiger, Crespin wore out his opponent, throwing him to the mat to gain the upper position and two points.  Crespin was ready for the kill, but a quick escape by Pollock ended the second.  Crespin went on the attack again, scoring another quick takedown and two more points.  Before the final period ended, Crespin scored one more point, riding his Tiger and keeping him on the mat as the match ended.   Crespin earned his first title with a 5-1 decision. 

    As the two combatants shook hands and Crespin walked off the wrestling mat as champion, his dreams and goals were realized. 

Walsenburg 5 on 5

WALSENBURG- Walsenburg will play host to teams from all over southern Colorado in a youth 5 on 5 basketball tournament.  Boys in grades 3-8 and girls in grades 7-8 are eligible to participate.  Action is March 7-9 at Peakview and John Mall gyms.  Entry fee is $125 per team.  For information call Ken Berger at 719-989-1311.

Skins to regionals

LA VETA- Both Redskin teams continued their quest  for a state berth after winning a pair of weekend games then their district playoff on Monday.  The action began when the Lady skins played the Primero Bulldogs, and for the third time this season, the Skins annihilated the Dogs 93-25 in an embarrassing game. All the Ladies played and everyone scored.  The Skin defense held Primero to single digits every quarter, never allowing the Dogs to get close.  Senior Nikki Willhoite, scored 21 while Carlee Koutnik scored 14.

     The following night, La Veta traveled to Aguilar to face the Wildcats.  For the second time in a week, the Skins skinned the Cats 62-38.   This was a more physical game as the usually passive Skins committed a season high of 19 fouls which saw Carlee Koutnik and Shea Brgoch fouling out.  It didn’t stop Koutnik from scoring 15 though.  Teammate Shelby Morgan led the way in scoring with 16.  With these victories, the Lady Skins finish the regular season with a 17-1 record and ranked number five in 1A, behind number three Kim (15-3) and number four Eads (16-2).  The post-season will prove to the rest of the state the Skins are for real and are the best girls’ team in the state.

     The Ladies’ road toward number one came at districts this past Mon. Feb. 25.  The unfortunate victims were again the Dogs of Primero, and for the third time in two weeks and fourth of the season, the Redskins massacred the Dogs  91-27.  Cumulatively all season, the Skins whupped the dogs 251 to 85.    

     The Skin boys also dominated play this week to prepare themselves for tonight’s second-round district action.  They play Creede beginning at 4:30. Their ‘warm-up’ came at the hands of the Mountain Valley Indians.  La Veta dominated play throughout the evening beating the Indians 79-23.  The Skins’ hot shooter, Shann Brownlee, hit 20 and Brian Andreatta scored 9.  On Saturday, the Skins visited Aguilar and beat the Wildcats 79-30.  According to Andreatta, “we’re peaking at the right time.”  The Skins are playing their best ball since late January.    

Panthers Advance

COTOPAXI- The John Mall Panthers boys′ basketball team gets to go to the second round of district play tonight.   They defeated Cotopaxi last Tuesday 53 to 52 with a second half, come from behind victory.  The Panthers had lost to Cotopaxi last Friday in regular season play, but Tuesday′s victory was the only one that mattered- John Mall is in the playoffs and Cotopaxi is staying home.

    Charlie Whitehead scored the game winner with ten seconds remaining in the game to put the Cats ahead.  Craig Eccher then knocked away the inbound pass, and Whitehead picked up the loose ball to secure the Cats′ incredible come from behind victory.

    The Cats play Hoehne in Florence tonight at 7:30.