Pirate wrestlers are focused and looking forward to regional competition after a hard home loss to Bloomfield to end the season.
Prior to the Bloomfield meet last Thursday, senior wrestlers were given the chance to recognize their parents for their support during their time as a high school wrestler. Although dedicated parents have always been graciously appreciated, head coach Dan Janowsky told The SUN that the Pirate team has started to recognize parents officially in the past couple of years.
“The parents that support our kids are really exceptional,” said Janowsky. “Watching your kid compete is stressful for any parent, but there is something unique about wrestling. Our parents are very dear to us and deserve credit for many things, from managing athlete nutrition to taking the extra time to get their kid to early morning workouts.”
The Pirate wrestling team intends to continue the new tradition of ceremoniously recognizing supportive parents of senior class members each season.
After a hard week of preparation, the Pirate wrestling team fell to Bloomfield 24-58.
During the meet, only four Pirate wrestlers were able to defeat their Bloomfield opponents. The victors included junior David McRee at 170 pounds who pinned his opponent in 3:44, junior Alonso Hernandez who received points from a forfeit, senior Micheal Mills at 132 who pinned his opponent, and heavyweight senior Creede Wylie who pinned his opponent in 1:44. Unusually, all of the other matches ended in pins aside from sophomore Tanner Schlom’s at 113, which ended his loss by major decision.
Janowsky explained that the outcome of the meet last Thursday was unusual — rarely do that many pins occur during a dual meet. Additionally, the outcome was far from what he was anticipating.
“I was expecting a close dual,” said Janowsky. “A lot of our guys were wrestling well and even winning matches by points, but then we got out of position and couldn’t recover.”
Unfortunately for the Pirates, pins give up big points that impact team scores. It seemed that Bloomfield opponents capitalized on each mistake made by Pirate wrestlers last Thursday, including failure to maintain position.
Janowsky provided two main reasons for the decisive loss. First, he commended the Bloomfield squad.
“They’re a scrappy bunch, and they came ready to wrestle,” said Janowsky. “They look for opportunities to win and take them. We got out-hustled last week.”
Second, he explained that the Pirate team gets very excited to wrestle at home. According to Janowsky, the team can get excited to the point of distraction and the thrill of wrestling at home in front of fans can throw off mental focus, causing many wrestlers to make errors they might not otherwise. Janowsky told The SUN that he thinks the team handled the loss in an appropriate way.
“The thing is,” said Janowsky, “sometimes you just have to move on. I haven’t lost faith in them and I don’t think they’ve lost faith in themselves, either.”
With the regular season behind them, Pirate wrestlers are looking forward to fierce competition at the regional tournament this Friday and Saturday in Colorado Springs at Colorado Springs Christian High School. The regional tournament is individual, double elimination format.
Although competitors will wrestle to determine places one through six, only the top four wrestlers in each weight category will advance to compete in the 3A state championship tournament.
Wrestling will being at 2:30 p.m. on Friday and competitors still in the tournament will participate in semifinal matches beginning at 9 a.m. Saturday morning. Finals will begin at 3:30 p.m.
After a long season of fairly slow improvement, Janowsky shared that some Pirate wrestlers have landed coveted spots in 3A standings. Among those to watch this weekend include Wylie, ranked second in the 285-pound heavyweight class; Hernandez at 195, currently ranked fifth; Mills at 132 currently ranked seventh; McRee at 170 currently ranked eighth; and juniors Chase Patane at 182 and Austin Courtney at 145, who have both recently moved up in ranking into the top 15 in their respective weight classes.
“When the season started, we were nowhere near where we are today,” said Janowsky, discussing the amount of hard work each individual team member has put into wrestling this year.
Those unable to travel to Colorado Springs to cheer on the Pirates this weekend can access up-to-date scores online at www.trackwrestling.com. The regional tournament is listed under CHSAA 3A, region 4 wrestling. To find the tournament, visit the website and click on “browse” in the top menu bar. From there, select “tournaments.” In the search box at the top of the page, type “3A region 3 wrestling tournament.”
The top four finishers in each weight class at the regional tournament will advance to compete at the state tournament at the Pepsi Center in Denver starting Thursday, Feb. 20.