Fielding nearly a full lineup for the first time all season, the Glenwood Springs Demons wrestling team ran into a buzzsaw Thursday night in a home Tri-Dual against the Eagle Valley Devils, dropping a 57-15 decision. Fortunately for the Demons, they wrestled two matches on the night, topping Steamboat Springs 43-18 to split the Tri-Dual inside the old Chavez-Spencer Gymnasium.
“I don’t know that we’re every truly going to have a full lineup this season, but it was really nice to come close to that tonight in both matches and put up some numbers on the mat,” said Miles Cook, Glenwood’s assistant coach.
Opening up the night against the Sailors, Glenwood sophomore Chris Otero-Maldonado was pinned by Steamboat’s Cole Moon 48 seconds into the match putting the Demons in an early 6-0 hole.
The young Glenwood squad quickly climbed out of that hole though thanks to three consecutive forfeits by Steamboat, pushing the Demons out in front 18-6.
Senior Mathew Flores, wrestling for the first time in the 2018-19 season after returning from injury, added onto Glenwood’s lead with an impressive 2-1 decision win over Steamboat’s Spencer Mades. Flores took a quick 2-0 lead in the first period with a solid takedown before then riding out Mades through the rest of the first period.
Late in the second period, Mades scored an escape right before the buzzer to make it 2-1 heading into the final period of action, where Flores held on late for the one-point win. The win by decision gave the Demons a 21-6 lead midway through the match.
“It was nice to see him [Flores] out there,” said Cook. “He’s pretty slick out there and is really good on his feet. He just really controls the match. Usually he’s real solid getting out of the legs when a kid gets on his legs, but you could tell he was a bit rusty coming back. It was just fun to see him back for us.”
Glenwood picked up a forfeit win after Flores’s win, but in the 145-pound match Glenwood senior Joshua Sanchez lost by technical fall (11-3) to Steamboat’s Caleb Anderson, making it a 27-12 match. Anderson came out fast in the match against Sanchez, scoring a takedown and three nearfall points for a 5-0 advantage. Sanchez responded with a takedown of his own late in the first period, but Anderson added a takedown in the second period before the technical fall win in the third period.
Following a forfeit win for Glenwood in the 152-pound match, Glenwood freshman Sawyer McKenney lost by fall to Ivan Reynolds in 2:43 in the 160-pound match, making it a 33-18 match in favor of Glenwood.
A forfeit win for Glenwood at the 170-pound weight class made it 39-18 before standout junior Amos Wilson closed out the win for Glenwood with a 14-2 win over John Slowey in the 195-pound match. Wilson scored three takedowns in the first period, a reversal in the third, a nearfall for two points and a nearfall for three points in the final quarter, rolling to the 12-point decision win.
After cleaning up against Steamboat Springs, the Demons moved on to the marquee matchup of the night against the Devils of Eagle Valley.
The Devils came out hitting hard, as Abraham Garcia pinned Glenwood’s Bryce Wheeler to open the match in the 285-pound weight class, before Eagle picked up a forfeit win in the 106-pound weight class, racing out to a quick 12-0 lead.
At 113 pounds, Glenwood freshman Ray Rosenmerkel put up a major fight for the Demons, avoiding an early pin to battle for a 10-4 decision loss, keeping Eagle from getting a full six points.
Rosenmerkel found himself on his back quickly to open the match against Eagle’s Josh Boeke, but the quick-twitch freshman avoided the pin and found himself squirming out of harm’s way to continue the match.
After building momentum by avoiding the early fall, Rosenmerkel picked up an early takedown in the second period to make it 5-2, but Boeke nearly pinned him again in the third period, riding out the 10-4 win to make it 15-0 Eagle Valley.
“Ray is just so talented,” said Cook. “It’s all about attitude with him; he’s just such a positive kid. He’s just making some simple mistakes on the mat, and we’re working with him to fix that. He was on his back a long time twice in the match, but he just battled and battled and battled.”
Freshman Dakotah Aguirre was pinned by in the 120-pound match in 1:55 to Marcus Hermosillo, while Eagle Valley picked up a forfeit win at 126 pounds.
In the 132-pound match, Flores looked to build off of his impressive win in the Steamboat battle, but Eagle Valley’s Lucas Comroe controlled the match from the start, eventually pinning Flores in 52 seconds, stretching Eagle’s lead to 27-0.
Senior Joaquin Garcia put an end to Glenwood’s slide with the match of the night, coming through with a 10-6 win by decision over Eagle Valley’s Ryder Bossow.
Garcia jumped out to a 5-2 lead early in the second period with a takedown and two escapes, but Bossow wouldn’t go away, scoring a takedown of his own. Garcia was able to hold off Bossow late though, giving the Demons their first points of the match.
“I hope the kids watched Joaquin’s match,” said Cook. “He just really battled and kept his head up, even when things started to go a little sideways. He turned it back in his favor. To me, that was by far the best match of the night. He just did a really good job for us.”
Looking to build off of Garcia’s win, Sanchez stepped onto the mat for the Demons in the 145-pound match and came out firing, pinning Eagle Valley’s Kevin Chavez in 53 seconds, putting Glenwood on a roll.
That roll came to a quick end though as Eagle Valley’s Noah Baldwin pinned Glenwood freshman Kade How in 1:24, while Cole Lovell pinned McKenney in 3:05, putting the match out of reach at 45-9.
Eagle’s Jeffrey Kerns made it 51-9 Devils with a win by fall over Glenwood’s Tucker Porter in the 170-pound match, but Wilson righted the ship for the Demons with a win by fall over Daniel Gallegos in 13 seconds.
Brian Garcia pinned Glenwood’s Spencer Cloud in 54 seconds in the 195-pound weight class after Cloud jumped out to a quick 2-0 lead on a beautiful football-style takedown, and Cody Ponce pinned Otero-Maldonado in 1:10 to close out the match win for the Devils.
“We’re just so green right now,” said Cook. “The pins are just so big. If the kids go out there and lose by decision and not by fall, we might still lose the dual, but it will be closer on the scoreboard. We’re continuing to work and gain experience.”
Glenwood travels to Mead Saturday morning for a day-long tournament, before returning home Thursday, Jan. 17 against the Grand Valley Cardinals.