Mountains

Bears shorthanded on mat

Sam Green/Cortez Journal

Deano Valdez lifts Monticello's Dustin Christensen and then proceeds to pin him Tuesday night at Dolores High School.

By Bobby Abplanalp Journal staff writer

Although the final score read 57-18 in favor of visiting Monticello, Dolores wrestled well head-to-head versus the Utah school.

The Bears have caught the injury and sick bugs this week. Only eight wrestlers suited up at home Tuesday night.

In actual matches, Dolores wrestled Monticello to a 21-12 result. But the Buckaroos brought nearly a full roster, resulting in the Bears to forfeit six matches, which resulted in the final 57-18 outcome.

"They're a great program," Bears coach Leo Garand said about Monticello. "They have five or six state placers and two state champions they brought in here tonight. It's a good matrix to see where we're at in the season."

Kellen Gatzke won by forfeit at 170 pounds for Dolores. Levi Noyes and Deano Valdez were the other winners at 120 and 152 pounds, respectively.

"Levi Noyes wrestled great and Deano went out there and got the job done as well," Garand said.

Valdez (12-1) dominated his match against Dustin Christensen. The Dolores junior picked up Christensen and slammed him to the mat for a vicious takedown. Valdez violently took down Christensen one more time, which ultimately spelled doom for Christensen. Valdez secured the pin with 51.9 seconds left in the first-round.

"That's how I try to go out in all my matches. Take it to them right away," said a winded Valdez. "I just show up ready to wrestle. It was just come out and get it done, do what I have to do."

Valdez is riding high with confidence. His only loss this season came against Del Norte's Shawn Beiriger, who is the No. 1-ranked 2A wrestler by Coloradopreps.com at 152 pounds.

"I'm pumped for state this year. I'm trying to look forward to that and get my record up," Valdez said. "My season goal, is taking state. That's my main one. I've been training harder. I lifted weights all summer."

Noyes made plenty of noise at his home gym with a second-round-pin over Andrew Baird. Noyes controlled the match with plenty of takedown points, but Baird fought hard to stay alive.

Noyes had his opponent on his back virtually the entire first period. But Baird staved off elimination, for the time being, anyway.

In the second period, it was much of the same. Baird laid on his back and it appeared he would survive another round.

Noyes had enough.

With 11.7 seconds left in the period, Noyes finally secured the pin to win.

At 145s, Wyatt Wade (No. 3, Coloradopreps.com) had the tough task of wrestling defending Utah state champion Cole Eldredge.

Wade struck first with a takedown to lead early 2-0. Seconds later, Eldredge countered with a 2-point takedown of his own to knot the score.

Wade would stay down.

Eldredge's reversal put Wade down for the count with 33.5 seconds remaining in the first period.

Dolores' Guy Wallace lost to Brandon Mussleman at 138 by a 17-0 technical fall.

Luke Murefield lost to Monticello's Hunter Bowring at 126 by a 15-1 major decision.

"I was pretty happy with the way the guys wrestled," Garand said. "I've got a couple newer guys in there that went out there and got to face state placers, and then we saw some other good performances."

The Bears will travel to Page, Ariz., on Friday and Saturday for a tournament that will have five states representing.

"We haven't been to an elimination tournament yet," Garand said. "In the dual match tournaments, we've done really well. We've done the round-robin tournaments to try to stack up as many matches as we can going into this elimination tournament. We're going to see a lot of different styles and a lot of different wrestlers there. We're excited about that."

Wrestling begins Friday afternoon at 1.

bobbya@cortezjournal.com.

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