Back-to-back competitions challenge Pirates

After three days of back-to-back competition, Pirate wrestlers tallied three wins in dual meets, and placed two champions Saturday at the Rocky Mountain Invitational.

According to coach Dan Janowsky, Pagosa’s 160-pound Joe Ducharme, took top honors at the competition when he was named outstanding wrestler in the upper weight classes and scored a first place finish.

Mike Smith, wrestling at 171 pounds and battling a stomach bug, won his second consecutive championship at the invitational. Smith took first in his weight class with three wins and zero losses.

Before the invitational, the Pirates’ three-day grind began in Durango Jan. 8 in a dual meet, where Pirate wrestlers took nine of 14 matches, beating Durango High School, 37 to 30.

Pirate wrestlers then found themselves back in Pagosa Springs Friday for the Rocky Mountain Duals, where they beat Widefield High School 37 to 36, and Española Valley High School, 39 to 35.

Janowsky said Pirate wrestlers walked the razor’s edge Friday night against Widefield, but, because of focus and tenacity, took the win with a one-point margin.

“That was the best we’ve wrestled all year,” Janowsky said. “The kids, at every weight, wrestled hard. We had some tight matches but they kept plugging away, kept attacking, and stayed focused throughout. We won that dual because we won individual matches. It could have been turned around with one careless mistake.”

Although careless mistakes weren’t necessarily the cause of the Pirates 8th place finish at the Rocky Mountain Invitational Saturday, Janowsky chalked up the finish largely to fatigue.

“The biggest factor was that we had wrestled three days in a row. It was one week after break, with only a few days practice. Wrestlers had to make weight three days in a row, which is difficult, especially after the holidays,” Janowsky said. “The fire we had the night before, just wasn’t there.”

Nevertheless, Janowsky lauded Pirate champions DuCharme and Smith, and second place finisher, Steven Smith, wrestling at 119 pounds.

Janowsky said two of his younger wrestlers, sophomore Preston Sandoval at 215 pounds and freshman Jeremy Smith at 152 pounds, made huge strides in applying techniques and strategies learned in practice to the heat of competition.

Tournament results

Rocky Mountain Duals, Friday, Jan. 9

Pagosa 37, Widefield 36

160 – Joe DuCharme, WBF (winner by fall/pin), :19, over Jaron McCoy.

171 – Mike Smith, won 17-5 over DJ Hightower.

215 – Preston Sandoval, won 7-1 over Nick Salazar.

119 – Steven Smith, WBF, 3:06, over Robert Prejean.

125 – Dakota Miller, won 9-3 over Dominic Segala.

130 – Caleb Pringle, won 3-2 over Steven Jones.

140 – Cole Mastin, WBF, 1:16 over Cameron Scurec.

145 – Waylon Lucero, WBF, 2:40 over Jesse Dyer.

Pagosa 39, Española Valley 35

171 – Mike Smith, WBF, 1:08 over Michael Vigil.

119 – Steven Smith, WBF, 3:06, over Adam Montoya.

130 – Caleb Pringle, won 9-6 over Isaiah Martinez.

140 – Cole Mastin, WBF, :40 over Angelo Medina.

160 – Joe DuCharme, WBF, :25 over Jacob Rivera.

Rocky Mountain Invitational, Sat. Jan 10

119 – Steven Smith, 3 wins, 1 loss, 2nd place — won 15-5 over Terrell, Bayfield; WBF, 2:27 over Escojedo, Aztec; won 13-5 over Espinosa, Centauri; lost 10-2 to Penning, Durango.

125 – Dakota Miller, 2 wins, 2 losses, 4th place — won 4-2 over Sigala, Widefield; won 8-7 over Wilcox, Monticello; lost 15-6 to Martinez, Monte Vista; lost 3-0 to Gibson, Española Valley.

140 – Cole Mastin, 1 win, 2 losses, 4th place — WBF, :32 over Medina, Española Valley; lost 13-7 to Swanemeyer, Bayfield.

145 – Waylon Lucero, 1 win, 2 losses, 6th place — LBF (loss by fall), 1:58 to Montoya, Española Valley; win by default, Dyer, Center; lost 16-3 to Sandoval, Centauri.

152 – Jeremy Smith, 3 wins, 2 losses, 7th place — LBF, :29 to Ryan, Air Academy; WBF, :58 over Kromer, Pagosa II; WBF, 2:08 over Lobato, Pagosa II; lost 17-5 to Heredia, Monte Vista; won 8-2 over Traenor, Bayfield.

160 – Joe DuCharme, 3 wins, 0 losses, 1 st place — WBF, 3:50 over Garrett Fitch, Pagosa II; WBF, 1:56, over Phillips, Air Academy; tech fall, 16-1 over Garcia, Mountain Valley.

171 – Mike Smith, 3 wins, 0 losses, 1st place.

189 – Clint Manzanares, 1 win, 2 losses, 7th place —lost 5-4 to Finnegan, Centauri; LBF, 4:16 to Price, Air Academy; WBF, second period, Merkley, Mountain Valley.

SUN photo/Karl Isberg
The official prepares to signal a fall, giving Pagosa’s Caleb Pringle maximum team points in a match with Zach Dixon, of Aztec, N.M., during Saturday’s Rocky Mountain Invitational at the PSHS gym.