Pirate wrestlers weather a rough week

The Pirate wrestling team had plenty of competition during the past week, with few resources to meet it.

With the roster thinned by illness and injury, the Pirates traveled to Nucla and fought duals with the hosts and Cortez. Pagosa defeated Nucla 66-30 and lost to the Panthers 33-43.

On Saturday, the team traveled to Alamosa for the Alamosa Invitational and placed eighth in the field, with only five wrestlers in action

“I think we weathered a tough week pretty well,” said Pirate Coach Dan Janowsky.

Nucla has been one of the strongest teams in Colorado Class 2A in recent years, putting some of the finest wrestlers in the state on the mat. This year, Nucla is down from the norm, lacking a full roster.

Pagosa wins included:

Senior Steven Smith at 125 pounds, taking a win by fall 44 seconds into the match.

Ryan Hamilton, light for the weight and standing in for the injured Joe DuCharme, got six points at 160 with a fall at 3 minutes, 29 seconds.

At 171, veteran Mike Smith continued a strong season, getting a pin 40 seconds into the action.

Against Class 4 A Cortez, missing wrestlers and choices as to which Pirate would compete at which weight, likely made the difference in the meet score. DuCharme was again absent from the lineup and Steven Smith chose to wrestle at 125 (rather than 119) and face former state champ Casey Lynn — to whom he lost a 13-5 decision.

Dakota Miller won a 13-6 decision over Michael Sanders, at 130.

Cole Mastin came through with max points at 140, winning with a fall over Brian Wells, at 3:40.

Mike Smith again made short work of an opponent at 171, pinning Wrangler Hinton at the 47-second mark of the match.

Clint Manzanares got a big win at 189, scoring a fall at 3:16 over Staton Jeter.

“It went pretty much way the way you would have predicted,” said Janowsky of the dual with Cortez. “They won the matches you expected them to win, and so did we. Steven Smith asked to move a weight so he could wrestle Casey Lynn. He did a good job early. And you can’t complain with his decision: Steven is looking for ways to get better and the only way you do that is to wrestle the best guy possible.”

At the Alamosa Invitational, the five Pirates who made the trip scored 79 points to finish eighth out of 12 teams. The host Mean Moose won the tournament.

Steven Smith finished third at 119, with three wins and one loss. Smith started with a 20-6 major decision of Bryan Monahan, of Thunderridge. The Pirate lost his next match to Michael Walsh of Alamosa, then came back in the consolation bracket with a pin of Wayne Cordova, of Walsenberg, at 1:40. Smith earned third place with a 20-9 major decision over Kyle Rogers, of Montrose.

Caleb Pringle had one win at 130 — a fall at 1:37 over Kory Donlon of Thunderridge.

Mastin placed third at 135, with three wins and one loss. Mastin pinned Tyler Beyers of Thunderridge at 35 seconds. Following a loss to Kyle Holman of Alamosa, the Pirate put together two wins by fall — over Nick Baily of Montrose (59 seconds) and Cody McGraw of Fountain Fort Carson (1:33).

Waylon Lucero was fifth at 145, winning two and losing two. Lucero’s wins came against Zac Robertson of Sand Creek (by pin, at 4:08) and Gunner Bauer of Payson, Ariz. (a pin at 4:07).

Mike Smith took the tourney title at 171. In his first match, the veteran Pirate pinned Jeff Warren of Alamosa, at 2:38. He followed that with a win by fall at 2:59 over Brody Kelly of Fountain Fort Carson. Smith captured first place with a 12-4 decision over Derek Munsey of Thunderridge.

“We only took five guys to the tournament at Alamosa,” said Janowsky, The coach could have filled the roster with junior varsity wrestlers, but chose not to. “I sent our junior varsity wrestlers to a varsity tournament at Center,” he said. “As a result, they got in more matches and that is what they need at this point. Of the five guys we took to Alamosa, four placed and that ended a hard week on a positive note.”

Pagosa duals traditional rival Monte Vista tonight at the PSHS gym.

“Monte is ranked seventh in the state, and they’re good,” said the coach. “It will boil down to our guys’ health. We’re behind the eight ball; it’s that time of year. If you make progress each day with the kids you have, it all adds up in the end.”

The dual action with Monte begins at 6 p.m.