Wade earns second silver medal

BEING DOWN NEVER FELT SO GOOD: Dolores senior 145-pounder Wyatt Wade floors Del Norte's Brennan Pacheco during their semifinal match at the 2013 Class 2A State Championships last weekend inside Denver's Pepsi Center. Wade reached the title tilt after routing the Tiger by an 11-1 major decision, but then lost by first-period pin to senior James Price of Ault-based Highland. Wade finished his final season with an outstanding 40-4 record; Price ended 38-1 (only loss was to Broomfield's Phil Downing, eventually the Class 4A champ).


DENVER - Wyatt Wade's dreams of a state wrestling championship ended when he fell victim to a wicked hold called the iron cross.

It was swift and disappointing end to a season rich with success for Wade.

As the No. 1 seed in the Class 2A 145-pound division, Justin Price (40-1) of Highland dominated throughout the tournament and demonstrated why he was clearly the best wrestler in the weight class.

The finals pitted the top two seeds of the division.

Both Price and Wade earned dominating majority decisions in the semifinals. In the finals, Price went on the attack quickly and caught Wade in the unique hold, getting the pin at the 1:09 mark of the first period.

Wade said he was extremely happy with his semifinal victory - a 11-1 majority decision over Brennan Pacheco of Del Norte.

"The semis went good, I stayed calm and wrestled good."

For Wade, the disappointment of losing the title match was painful but he found solace in a rewarding senior season on the mat for Dolores High School.

"It felt good, there's not much I can say about it right now," he said, the sting of the loss still fresh. "I had a good tournament, I hit a couple of moves that I hadn't been able to do all season."

The silver medal doesn't entirely sum up Wade's career and especially his comeback this season. As a sophomore, he earned a trip to the title match but lost. Then came his junior season, packed with hope and promise but it quickly spiraled into one of frustration. Battling blood sugar issues that drained his energy, Wade was losing matches he should have been winning. He lost to opponents that he previously dominated.

Even after all the difficulties, he earned a trip to state at the 126-pound level and secured a fourth place.

Wade's focus on returning to state and going for a state title peaked after winning regionals last week.

But the school year didn't get off to a good start after he broke his leg and missed the football season. Then early in the wrestling season he was still concerned that his blood sugar issues might return.

After all the health issues that he battled, Wade admitted that it was a satisfying season even with the disappointing loss in the finals.

Sitting in the back hallway reflecting on the loss to Price, Wade was still trying to regain his composure after such a sudden defeat.

"The fact that I made it back to the finals is good," he said, his voice cracking. "After a broken leg and the blood problems, it feels good."

Two silvers and one fourth - not bad at all.

Ethen Upton was the other wrestler for Dolores at state. He finished out of the medals.

AH WELL...IT STILL ENDS WELL: As State Champion James Price (record 38-1) of Ault-based Highland hoists his conquered bracket last Saturday night before a Pepsi Center crowd numbering 15,359, Dolores senior Wyatt Wade (40-4) looks on with the Class 2A 145-pound divisionís second-place medal in hand.  Wade had reached the grand finale by defeating Kiowa junior Connor Willis 9-1, Akron junior Levi Hottinger 10-4, and Del Norte junior Brennan Pacheco 11-1...but then lost to the senior Price by pin in only 69 seconds.  Attendance for the three-day spectacle in Denver totaled 35,662. Enlargephoto

courtesy photo/Joel Priest

AH WELL...IT STILL ENDS WELL: As State Champion James Price (record 38-1) of Ault-based Highland hoists his conquered bracket last Saturday night before a Pepsi Center crowd numbering 15,359, Dolores senior Wyatt Wade (40-4) looks on with the Class 2A 145-pound divisionís second-place medal in hand. Wade had reached the grand finale by defeating Kiowa junior Connor Willis 9-1, Akron junior Levi Hottinger 10-4, and Del Norte junior Brennan Pacheco 11-1...but then lost to the senior Price by pin in only 69 seconds. Attendance for the three-day spectacle in Denver totaled 35,662.