LONGMONT -- Hosting eighth-ranked Roosevelt, the Mead wrestlers learned some things about themselves on Wednesday night.
On the receiving end of a 48-27 loss, the Mavericks won four contested matches against the Roughriders. Senior Gabe Alvarado was among them, pinning Roosevelt freshman Ray Garcia.
"I started out going pretty hard and then I decided to wrestle defensively instead of offensively, which is not the best idea," Alvarado said. "I need to get a better mindset for the next match and work hard in practice. I feel like I didn't try as hard as I could this week."
Alvarado's strategy eventually paid off. When Garcia made a mistake, Alvarado caught him in a barbed wire, which Garcia rolled out of before Alvarado trapped him in a half-nelson for the pin.
Ranked 14th in Class 4A at 170 pounds, Alvarado (13-5) said he was still unhappy with himself for not staying on the attack despite winning his fourth straight match.
"I feel like we need to invest a little bit more," Alvarado said. "Our coach has this term called drinking the Kool-Aid. It's like an investment into the team and in practice. We have talent, we just need mental commitment and physical preparation and I feel like we can do really well."
Where Alvarado left feeling he could have been more aggressive, Mavericks senior Marco Clark went home with the opposite sentiment after pulling off a decisive move to edge Roughriders senior Tanner Bonds 4-3.
Stuck in a lengthy 2-2 tie with Bonds, Clark took a 4-2 lead with a takedown in the third period. After the aggressive move, Clark maintained control, allowing only a one-point escape in the waning seconds that proved to be inconsequential.
"The kid was a tough kid and, ultimately, it came down to who wanted it more," said Clark, who has had an up-and-down season at 7-7. "He got out and he had the opportunity to shoot and he didn't shoot. Honestly, I think that's the only reason I won. I took the initiative and I wanted it more."
Ranked second in Class 4A at 195 pounds, Mavericks junior Kyle Couch was his usual dominant self. He wrestled at 182s on Wednesday and pinned Quinton Pharr in 3 minutes, 12 seconds.
Dyllan Burch, who has flip-flopped weights with Sage Budd between 113s and 120s, pinned Roughriders freshman Blake Slaymaker in 3:35.
Mavericks sophomore John Stinson lost a tough match by pin to Dustin Hayden, who is ranked 12th at 126s. Fellow Mavericks sophomore Gabe Robinson lost a close 3-2 decision to Roosevelt's Andrew Dimmit.
The Roughriders were without three wrestlers who are ranked in the top seven in their weight classes.
The Mavericks were missing Austin Van Hooker, who is ranked 12th at 132s. Sage Budd, ranked 14th at 120s, did not have an opponent and won by forfeit. The Mavericks forfeited at 106s, 145s and 285s.
Mead's Jack Gallegos held out as long as he could before getting pinned in 4:56 by Tyler Hayden, as did Hugo Ramirez, who was pinned by Roosevelt's Randy Molinar in 4:32. Roosevelt's Harley Bending pinned Christian Cortez in 1:19 and Mead's Justice Lovato lost 4-0 to Keagan Davis.
Mavericks head coach Ty Tatham said he saw a lot of good things from the Mavericks. But nearing the midway point of the season, he said, they still have much to improve upon.
"Both teams were missing a little bit," Tatham said. "They have one or two guys out, as well. It was a good competitive match. We had some matches there where it was close and didn't quite work out. We had some younger guys that still need to understand strategy in close matches. The good news is there's plenty of time to teach that and get it all figured out."
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Roosevelt 48, Mead 27
At Mead HS
106 -- Jake Howell, Roosevelt, won by forfeit; 113 -- Dyllan Burch, Mead, pinned Blake Slaymaker, 3:35; 120 -- Sage Budd, Mead, won by forfeit; 126 -- Dustin Hayden, Roosevelt, pinned John Stinson, 1:24; 132 -- Harley Bending, Roosevelt, pinned Christian Cortez, 1:19; 138 -- Keagan Davis, Roosevelt, dec. Justice Lovato, 4-0; 145 -- Jace Lopez, Roosevelt, won by forfeit; 152 -- Randy Molinar, Roosevelt, pinned Hugo Ramirez, 4:32; 160 -- Marco Clark, Mead, dec. Tanner Bonds, 4-3; 170 -- Gabe Alvarado, Mead, pinned Ray Garcia, 1:59; 182 -- Kyle Couch, Mead, Quinton Pharr, 3:12; 195 -- Andrew Dimmit, Roosevelt, dec. Gabe Robinson, 3-2; 220 -- Tyler Hayden, Roosevelt, pinned Jack Gallegos, 4:56; 285 -- Nathan Putallaz, Roosevelt, won by forfeit.