NIWOT — Monarch's Cole Polluconi and Niwot's Tommy Stager are more than familiar with one another.

The two spend a majority of their time together working out and making each other better with their club team at Mile High, so understandably there are no secrets.

Both of them knew what to expect when they met in the 132-pound match at Niwot's Gary Daum Classic on Saturday afternoon and the best match of the finals lived up to the billing.

It was the sophomore Polluconi (26-1) that emerged victorious, scoring an overtime takedown against Stager (26-3) to win 5-3 and earn Outstanding Wrestler honors in the process.

Longmont’s Drake Engleking, left takes down Platte Valley’s Austin Albrighton on Saturday at the Gary Daum Invitational at Niwot High School.
Longmont's Drake Engleking, left takes down Platte Valley's Austin Albrighton on Saturday at the Gary Daum Invitational at Niwot High School. More photos: (David R. Jennings / Staff Photographer)

"It's always good to get good competition like that," said Polluconi, whose matches with Stager go back to their youth days. "It is somebody that you know is going to push you and make you better."

Polluconi scored an early two points on a takedown in first period, but those were quickly matched by Stager's reversal. The match remained that way until the third period, when Polluconi — starting in the down position — was able to get an escape and take a one point lead in the final minute.

It appeared he had the match won in regulation, but the referee awarded Stager a stalling point in the final seconds that sent the match to overtime.

"I knew that I had to dig down and find my best stuff and pull out a win," Polluconi said.


It didn't take long and he ended the match early in the extra session.

It wasn't the only dramatic win for the Coyotes. Needing a win from Ian Scott in the heavyweight final against Mesa Ridge's Onyx Rowland to claim the team title, Scott delivered his first tournament victory of his career with a 3-1 overtime win.

"Last night (in a dual meet loss to Legacy's Tui Faamausili) I was really disappointed with myself and today, to be able to come back from it, is really great," said Scott, whose teammates awarded him with the trophy after the tournament. "I didn't know what was on the line when I was wrestling, I just wanted to win. But I'm glad I won it for my team."

Other winners for Monarch included Alex Scott (113), Xander Rens (120), Parker McQuade (126) and Keegan Feenstra (170) — who beat Lyons' Keegan Bean.

"It's a great confidence booster rolling into the most difficult part of the season," said Monarch coach Ezra Paddock, whose team will be at the Arvada West Invite next weekend.

Silver Creek crowned two champions. Junior Sawyer Novarra won the 106 pound title by beating Mesa Ridge's Trey Plattenberger by fall in the third period. Senior Kenny Jones made it look easy against Platte Valley's Jeremiah Land, winning a major decision 14-5 at 220 pounds.

"It felt good, especially since we did pretty good as a team," said Jones, whose team finished fourth overall. "The new coach (John Finkbiner) really has us working hard in practice and it is really paying off."

Longmont sent two to the finals. After watching his teammate Nathan Morris lose in the 152-pound final to Mesa Ridge's Devin Roettger, freshman Drake Engelking responded with a 15-13 win over Platte Valley's Austin Albrighton in the 160-pound final.

"I felt like after I got caught, I just wasn't going to take that shot anymore," said Engelking, who was nearly pinned in the first period. "All I did coming back was just hit different shots and he couldn't stop them."

Engelking will travel to Tulsa, Okla. next week to wrestle in the Tulsa Nationals.

Jon Yunt: or


At Niwot

Team scores — Monarch 204, Mesa Ridge 198.5, Northglenn 134, Silver Creek 118.5, Erie 118, Platte Valley 116.5, Fairview 77.5, Longmont 77.5, Frederick 60, Niwot 56, Boulder 51, Lyons 29, Skyline 13.

Championship matches

106 — Sawyer Novarra, Silver Creek pinned Trey Plattenberger, Mesa Ridge, 5:02.

113 — Alex Scott, Monarch pinned Adam Evertz, Erie, :34.

120 — Xander Rens, Monarch pinned Zack Backwith, Silver Creek, 3:45.

126 — Parker McQuade, Monarch dec. Robert Burger, Northglenn, 8-4.

132 — Cole Polluconi, Monarch dec. Tommy Stager, Niwot, 5-3 OT.

138 — Elijah Valdez, Mesa Ridge pinned Ernie Quintana, Erie, 3:09.

145 — Samuel Freeman, Mesa Ridge maj. dec. Caden Feenstra, Monarch, 14-4.

152 — Devin Roettger, Mesa Ridge dec. Nathan Morris, Longmont, 8-5.

160 — Drake Engelking, Longmont dec. Austin Albrighton, Platte Valley, 15-13.

170 — Keegan Feenstra, Monarch pinned Keegan Bean, Lyons, 1:42.

182 — Jajuan Jones, Mesa Ridge tech. fall Caleb Bergeson, Fairview, 16-1.

195 — Deric Cruz, Mesa Ridge pinned Jacob Johns, Northglenn, :37.

220 — Kenny Jones, Silver Creek maj. dec. Jeremiah Land, Platte Valley, 14-5.

285 — Ian Scott, Monarch dec. Onyx Rowland, Mesa Ridge, 3-1 OT.

Third-place matches

106 — Ricky Nava, Northglenn pinned Cruz Jimenez, Frederick, 3:03.

113 — Devin Lueck, Mesa Ridge pinned Isaiah Meastas, Northglenn, 3:23.

120 — Nikko Jaramillo, Platte Valley pinned Cole Hoffman, Frederick, 5:48.

126 — Tyler Steinmetz, Platte Valley pinned Adrian Rincon, Erie, 4:40.

132 — Adrian Rodriguez, Platte Valley pinned Skylar Calderoni, Fairview, 4:00.

138 — Taylor Dawal, Monarch won by forfeit over Kris Hassell, Northglenn.

145 — Toby Campbell, Erie maj. dec. Zach Waite, Platte Valley, 13-4.

152 — Justis Evans, Silver Creek maj. dec. David Finley, Skyline, 14-5.

160 — Nate Pritchard, Monarch dec. Aaron Nicoll, Niwot, 2-0.

170 — Dimitri Brown, Fairview pinned Zachary Roper, Erie, :48.

182 — Kanoa Gallegos, Silver Creek dec. Carlos Flores, Northglenn, 10-9.

195 — Domenic Policaro, Longmont pinned Michael Castro, Frederick, 2:47.

220 — Dominick Fini, Mesa Ridge pinned Mike True, Mesa Ridge, 2:47.

285 — Edgar Carranza, Boulder won by forfeit over Branden Ramirez, Longmont.