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State Tournament Preview

By David Tesitor

Pepsi Center, Denver CO 1:47 pm.-The 2012 Colorado State wrestling tournament will be underway in less than an hour and once again, the Huerfano World Journal is proud to be the only local newspaper to bring you up to date action, commentary and photos of all the action as it happens. We are in fact, the only weekly newspaper in the state to offer our reader’s coverage on our web site and on our Facebook page as it happens. We will use Facebook for the fast paced up to the minute results and our on line paper to offer the stories as they unfurl.
To begin with, the seven area wrestlers from John Mall and La Veta have their work cut out for them and as history has proven, there are no certainties when it comes to the Big Show. For some, this is a new experience, while for others this is old business. Our analysis of the first round and subsequent action will be a guide of what is to come.
It has been four years since Huerfano County has crowned a champion. Will 2012 be the year one of our own will stand on the leader’s podium?
The brackets have been out for four days and the pairings seem to have no rhyme or reason. State rankings, regional tournament placement and strength of opponents throughout the season are important to how the brackets are determined. It favors some, while for others, it will be a tough road.
To understand the brackets, if a wrestler wins his first three bouts, he wrestles for the championship. A loss in the first round means the wrestler needs to win three more to place, four to wrestle for third place.
First up will be Jacob Tenorio wrestling at 113 pounds. He has been to state before. Last year, Jacob wrestled at 103 pounds and lost his opening bout sending him to the consolation bracket. He won the next two rounds before he was eliminated from competition and the placement rounds. Tenorio is a senior and enters the tournament with a record of 25-16. Tenorio placed third at Regionals last weekend. He is ranked eleventh in the state. This afternoon, Tenorio will need to bring all his skills to the mat as he faces Stetson Loader of Baca County. Loader, a sophomore, boasts a record of 29-4 and is the returning state runner-up at 103 pounds. This will be their first meeting of his career. If Tenorio gets past his first opponent, he will likely face Aaron Aagesen, (26-9) a junior from Yuma, the number 4 ranked wrestler in the state. Aagesen placed third last year at 103.
Wrestling at 120 is John Mall’s John Paul Vigil. Vigil made state last year and was eliminated in the second round. This year, Vigil is in the lower bracket opposite the number one and two wrestlers in the state, giving him a solid chance to advance well into the brackets. Vigils first opponent will be J.D. Chenweth, a freshman (22-10) from Baca County. It will be the number 12 and thirteen ranked wrestlers going head to head. Vigil holds the advantage over the freshman because of his experience at the Pepsi Center, which at times can be intimidating for any wrestler to witness. If he moves on, his next opponent could be Cole Baughman a junior with a 39-5 record and the number three wrestler in the state. Bergman placed sixth last year at state.
The 132-pound class could offer the most excitement for both the Panther and Redskin fans as John Burch and WD Arnold are in the same bracket. If both wrestlers win their opening round match, they could test their skills against one another in the third round. To get there though, they must first win. Arnold is the number five wrestler in the state, and finished second at regionals. He will face an unranked Kyle Hunter of Merino (9-10). Burch on the other hand will have his hands full when he meets Mark Edmonds (33-6), the number one ranked wrestler in the state. Edmonds won the state title last season at 125 pounds.
The man with the target on his back and the man to beat is Adam Ortivez wrestling at 138. Ortivez is the only wrestler from the area making his forth appearance at state, wrestling is four different weight classes. Ortivez, ranked number one in the state this season finished third last season at the 130- pound class, enters the tournament as the number one seed. Opposite him in the lower bracket is Adrian Lopez of Paonia who is the number two-ranked wrestler. Adam already has a victory against the number two wrestler. First, Ortivez (26-1) needs to get past Travis Hill (18-13) of Akron. Within his bracket are the number four, five and sixth ranked wrestlers, so the bracket could provide some surprises and plenty of competition for Ortivez who is looking to be the first wrestler since his father-coach, Ron wrestled for the state championship when he was in school.
The last bracket to pair two area grapplers are the two heavyweights. Lorenzo Trujillo from John Mall has been here last year where he went two and out. This year, the heavyweight bracket will see a fresh new crop of big men who are making their first appearance to the state tournament, including Elliott Blessman of La Veta. Blessman and Trujillo are in opposite brackets and may possibly meet somewhere down the road. First, Trujillo, who posted a record of 21-16 is ranked number eleven in the state, will face unranked David Plute (21-16) from Lyons. If Trujillo wins through his first two rounds, he will likely meet the number two or three wrestler in the state. Blessman on the other hand will face Reed Christensen, a junior from Akron with a 19-5 record and ranked seventh. The winner of the opening bout will face either the number one or four-ranked wrestler to advance to the semi finals.
As is any sport, the season boils down to the next three days. The state championship is up for grabs and could be anybodies for the taking. It is given to those with the most drive, determination and heart. Somewhere in the mix, skill comes in. The tournament is full surprises, upsets and disappointments.
Stay tuned to our postings for the latest updates. You can only get it here.