Last year, which was the first sanctioned season for girls wrestling as an official sport, Durango joined forces with Ignacio and Dolores and Pagosa Springs for competitions since none of them had enough athletes to fill out a roster on its own.
Participation is up at the schools this season, and on Thursday, the Demons squared off with a combined Ignacio/Dolores team as well as Grand Junction Central.
“It was so fun wrestling those girls after spending last year with them,” said DHS head coach Kyle Hanson.
“It’s been an awesome experience getting to coach them,” said Ignacio head coach Jordan Larsen. “I’m stoked to have doubled our numbers from last season.”
Ignacio had two wrestlers last year and four this season.
Durango has had 10 girls come out for wrestling this season, and five competed Thursday. Dolores has four girls out, while Central had the largest contingent on Thursday with 17 girls on its roster.
“Girls-wise, numbers are low on the Western Slope, so it’s tough getting matches,” Larsen said, adding that Central had the biggest team he’s seen in the region.
On Thursday, however, the girls were able to get in a lot of competition. Durango’s Amiah Hanson , for instance, wrestled four times at two weights, going 2-2.
Aided by some forfeits, Central beat Ignacio/Dolores 60-0 and Durango, 60-0.
The Demons, however, picked up a win against Ignacio/Dolores, 18-12.
In Durango’s dual against Ignacio and Dolores, Carly Piccoli won her match at 111 pounds to give Durango the early lead. Piccoli took Valentina Tarini of Dolores down three times in the first period before getting a pin at the 1:32 mark.
“Carly has got to be one of the hardest workers I’ve seen in my life,” coach Hanson said. “I’m sad she started wrestling as a senior, but to have her as a senior is a huge blessing.”
At 118, Brooke Fenberg didn’t waste any time against Ignacio’s Audrey Roderick. Fenberg took Roderick down early and pinned her with a half nelson at the 36-second mark.
“Brooke is not at all afraid to mix it up,” coach Hanson said. “You can tell she has brothers. She’s just tenacious and super-impressive for a first-year wrestler.”
At 127, Amiah Hanson took Brooke Stiegelmeyer of Dolores down and ran a half nelson to pin her at 1:15.
In the dual’s other contested match, Sydney Vassar and Lexy Young battled at 147. Vassar sprawled to defend a Young shot and scored the first take down. Young reversed her, Vassar escaped and Young took Vassar down to take a 4-3 lead into the second period. Young chose to start in the neutral position and scored another takedown before eventually pinning Vassar at 2:38.
Coach Hanson called Vassar, “an amazing source of positive energy and kindness.”
In exhibition matches, Piccoli pinned Dolores’ Lindsay Knight in 52 seconds, and Ignacio’s Faye Hackett scored a 10-0 win over Hanson.
“That was the first time she ever made it out of the first period with Faye,” coach Hanson said. “She’s starting to see hard work and willingness to stay on the mat allows lots of success.”
Against Central, Fenberg and Piccoli switched weights. “That’s a great example how we’re taking care of each other,” Hanson said. “No one is so selfish that they’re not willing to fill in. ... We have brawls in that 111- to 118-pound group with blood and people flying.”
Fenberg almost had an early takedown against Anaiah Guajardo-Zarate, but the wrestlers went out of bounds. Zarate, however, eventually pinned Fenberg with a stubby stack late in the first period.
At 118, Piccoli got an early takedown after sprawling and scoring behind Regan Dare. Piccoli kept battling, but Dare was able to take her down a few times and eventually pinned the Demon in the third period.
Hanson and Vassar also lost by fall against Central.
The Demons, however, won two of the three exhibition matches they had with Central Fenberg used a funky roll to put Skylar Gallegos on her back and pin her.
Hanson took a 4-1 lead into the second and then reversed her opponent and pinned her with a half nelson. Vassar put up some points in her exhibition, but got pinned late in the second.
In the first dual of the night, Central squared off with Ignacio and Dolores. At 111, Tarini had a good sprawl to defend a shot from Central’s Guajardo-Zarate, but got taken down in a scramble and pinned with one second left in the first period.
At 118, Stiegalmeyer fought off her back a couple times, but eventually got pinned in the third period by Regan Dare.
Amanda Dozier of Dolores managed to put her opponent, Laurel Hughes, on her back twice. Dozier took a 7-1 lead into the third period, but got taken down to her back and pinned.
Central also won all three of the exhibition matches.
“In the first dual, we were a little timid, but came ... Click here to read full article