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Stalling at State

by David Tesitor
DENVER- Mat Madness was an experience of a lifetime for four John Mall Panthers and a return disappointment for two others as the six state qualifiers failed to advance to the consolation semifinals. But Jacob Tenorio, John Paul Vigil, John Burch, Berrie Archuletta, Stuart Pino and Lorenzo Trujillo can still claim to be among the best sixteen wrestlers in the state…

Jacob Tenorio (103 pounds) lost his first bout to Blake Duvall of Paonia on a major decision, 10-0. He would not let the setback stop him from elimination as he came back to eliminate Bradley Rhea of Akron by pin fall in 1:12. Tenorio scored an early takedown and was leading 7-0 when the pin occurred. Later that day, Tenorio was pitted against Cameron Ham of Custer County and defeated him by a 17-10 decision. It was a fast-paced, all-over-the-mat round of action as both wrestlers opened the match scoring takedowns and escaped. It was Tenorio who opened it up in the third to control the bout and secure the win. Tenorio pinned Ham at the regional tournament last week to take third and knew his opponent’s style. In his third match that would have advanced him in the placement rounds, Tenorio drew Brandon Grasmick of Fowler. Grasmick, who was upset in action Friday, was previously the number one wrestler in the state. With a 32-4 record, Grasmick compiled an impressive 18 wins by pin fall and 7 technical falls (winning by 15 points or more). Tenorio managed to escape three near pins throughout his match, denying the Fowler Grizzly another win by pin and showing the fans present why this Panther came to fight and deserved to be among the best in the state. Tenorio fell 17-2 and was eliminated from competition and making him the only Panther to advance as far in the tournament.
John Paul Vigil (119 pounds) finished the season with a 26-13 record after he dropped his first two matches at the state tournament. Vigil faced Aris Shino of Merino who pinned Vigil in 3:35 seconds. He then faced Guston Homung of Burlington and was unable to take control in the match. Homung won a major decision over Vigil and eliminated him from further competition.
John Burch (135 pounds) faced the number four wrestler in the state, Matt Seifert of Yuma, who entered the tournament with a 32-7 record. Siefert won a major decision over Burch, forcing Burch into the consolation rounds. Burch faced Blake Wanstedt of Rangely and was eliminated by fall at 2:17. Burch came out strong but was taken down and was unable to recover.
Berrie Archuletta (171) also went two and out after he opened his first match with a quick attempt at a take down but was caught with a takedown and trapped on his back. Archuletta was then pinned at the one-minute mark. His last match saw Archuletta fall behind 8-0 in the second to Ryan Domson of Hayden, who was the aggressor in the match. A takedown by Domson landed Berrie on his neck and he was rolled over for the pin in 3:19.
Stuart Pino (189) faced Johnny Lofin of Baca County in his opening bout and was pinned by the number one wrestler in the state. Lofin, a freshman, entered the tournament with a 34-0 record was favored to win it all, but the young combatant fell to nerves and would wrestle for fifth place, proving the tournament is anybody’s game. Pino’s second bout ended by fall at the two-minute mark.
The last Panther standing was Lorenzo Trujillo who lost his opening bout to Austin Canaday by pin fall at the 4:17 second mark. As with most of the big wrestlers, both jockeyed for position to gain the advantage. After one, the match was scoreless. It was early in the third where Canaday took Trujillo off his feet to secure the pin. In his second bout, Trujillo faced Jack Roberts of Nucla. Trujillo was tied 2-2 with Roberts going into the third, when an injury to Roberts suspended play. The possum-playing giant had a rest which allowed him to ‘regain’ his strength to come from behind in the last 30 seconds to steal the win.
We were there, live, at the Pepsi Center. To see dozens more photographs and short stories, visit our web site at Also, check us out on Facebook to see our video coverage of Adam Ortivez’s winning match and interviews.