The Paw Print
On January 28, Adams State College faced Western in an even wrestling match. The Grizzlies lower weight classes started out strong by winning the majority of the first five bouts. Unfortunately, they could not continue that winning for the last five matches.
Returning National Champion Arsenia Barksdale from Norfolk, Virginia started the Grizzlies off to a strong start with a solid performance over Western’s Kyle O’Brien with a major decision score of 12-2. Western soon rebounded with a win from Darren Hockett over A.J. Alexander with a decision of 6-2, cutting the Grizzlies lead to 4-3.
Soon, the momentum changed once again when one of the Grizzlies’ standouts, Josh Hensley, raised his record to 22-3 with a technical fall over Western’s Hollan Gravely, in just under 5 minutes. The Grizzlies’ win streak continued as true freshman Daniel Kelly extended the team’s lead to 12-3.
The Grizzlies’ last win of the night was a bit early as senior Joey Deaguero pulled out a last minute 4-3 win with two reversals over the Mountaineer’s Kyle Francis after he fell behind 3-2 after the second period. The Grizzlies luck soon changed, as the next five matches would go to the Mountaineers starting off with 165 lb match. Cody Frankum’s pin over Adams State’s Brandon Johnson after scoring six takedowns would help shorten the lead that Adams State would soon lose.
The Grizzlies would suffer another loss at the 174 lb weight class as freshman Anthony Gomez was defeated by Zach Frasier with at score of 7-3. One of the toughest losses of the night went to the Grizzlies 184 lb Torben Walters, who wrestled against the No. 2 ranked wrestler in the nation Charlie Pipher. Walters was leading 3-2 after the second period but soon lost the lead as Pipher scored two takedowns in the last minute of the final period to claim the win 6-5.
Adams State’s 184 lb 2009 National Champion Kyle Sand suffered an upset loss to No.5 ranked Donovan MacMahill in giving up a final takedown in the last seconds of the match. Sand is now 9-2 in duals for the year.
The final match of the night ended with Western’s No.4 ranked Charlie Alexander’s less than classy celebration after pinning Grizzlies’ redshirt freshman Taylor Stam in the first period, sealing Western’s victory with at final score of 24-15.
Despite the loss, ASC wrestlers are still hopeful. Dominic DeMarco gives his views on the team –“I think we have a great team. We’re definitely starting to come together and in the end I think we’re going to show the country that we still are a threat once we get going into the regional and national tournament.” The Grizzlies next match will be on Thursday in Grand Junction against Mesa State.