DENVER -- Arriving at the Class 2A state wrestling tournament as the only freshman in his 170-pound weight class, Lyons' Jon Hickman felt no pressure to make anything spectacular happen once he hit the mat.
That didn't stop Hickman from doing it anyway.
In the opening round, Hickman kicked off his state career with a first-round pin of Fowler senior Chance Chambers (31-15) by locking his back to the mat for a pin in 1 minute, 42 seconds.
"There was really no pressure so I was just coming out and trying to have fun," said Hickman, who is 11-7 at 170. "If I came in a senior in this match, the expectation would be a lot higher than what it was."
Much like his first prep wrestling season has been, Hickman's first state tournament match developed along the process of trial-and-error.
Hickman's first several shots against the veteran were fruitless. The Lions freshman, in turn, avoided a pair of shots from Chambers.
Feeling for a comfort zone, Hickman tried to duck under, attempted a headlock, worked a near-side cradle, tried to manipulate the back leg and ended up letting Chambers go. Nothing was working for Hickman.
On his second takedown, though, Hickman turned Chambers to his back and held on long enough for the pin. Starting off 1-0 in his state career relieved what little weight Hickman felt upon his arrival. But he will face a tougher task on Friday in a quarterfinals clash with top-seeded Tyler Sharpe (25-5) from Baca County.
"I have a cold so I was kind of worried going into this how that would affect my breathing and stuff," Hickman said. "I told myself I'm going to have to wrestle smart and conserve my energy. I got myself breathing too hard today but it kind of worked out. Now I have some extra confidence that it won't be too big a factor tomorrow."
Jon Hickman's twin brother William Hickman (19-17) was pinned in his first-ever state match at 106 pounds. He lost to Nucla's Aaron Morgan (18-18) in 1:02.
After finishing fifth in Region 3 and claiming an extra state bid from Region 2 based on his overall record, Lyons senior heavyweight David Plute (19-16) caught the toughest of the Lions' draws. Facing top-seeded Tony Darling (33-1) from Paonia, Plute fell by pinfall in 2:29.
Plute said the match came down to him getting his hips too close to Darling and Darling overpowering him up top.
"I knew he was going to be tough because he was the No. 1 seed and he has a really great record," said Plute, who went 0-2 at state last season. "I just wanted to go out there and do the best I can, fight everything and not give him exactly what he wants."
Wrestling at 126 pounds, Lions freshman Kanyon Raper (11-9) also was pinned in the first round. Raper was in his match and even threatened to pin Dove Creek junior Nick Jones (12-8) as the buzzer sounded at the end of the second round before he fell in 4:37.
Driving down to the Pepsi Center with three freshmen and a senior, Lions head coach Chip Sullivan said the team's first-day results were more than satisfactory.
"They are so young and everything is wide open," Sullivan said. "I'm always gonna be happy with these guys. We're glad to be here, obviously. Today took some of the bright lights out of it. They know now that it's the same mat, it's the same circle and we're the same coaches. I've had a bunch of guys since I've been the coach and we never start this well, so they don't have to be worried tomorrow."
The Class 2A championship quarterfinals will begin at 10 a.m. on Friday and the consolation rounds will begin immediately following their completion. Semifinals for all classes are at 7:15 p.m. Friday.
Follow Brad on Twitter: @BradCochi
CLASS 2A FIRST ROUND
Team Scores -- Paonia 44.5; Baca County 29; Dove Creek 28; Highland 22.5; Rocky Ford 20; Akron 18; Wray 16; Merino 14; Center 12; Del Norte 12; Eads 12; Holyoke 12; Sedgwick County-Fleming 12; Wiggins 12; Burlington 11; Meeker 10.5; Fowler 9; Custer County 8; Las Animas 8; Nucla 8; Stratton 8; Yuma 8; Swink 7; John Mall 6; North Park 6; Holly 5.5; Cheyenne Wells 4; Hayden 4; Lyons 4; Norwood 4; Peyton 4; West Grand 4; Dolores 3; Centennial 2; La Veta 2;
106 pounds -- Cameron Ham, Custer County pinned AJ Smith, Kiowa, 7:30; Tanner Watson, Akron pinned Colin Hobbs, Dove Creek, 3:09; Aaron Morgan, Nucla pinned William Hickman, Lyons, 1:02; Jeremy Fraser, Rocky Ford tech. fall Alberto Rodriguez, Center, 15-0; Talon Harris, Norwood pinned Michael Flores, Wray, :25; Logan Durham, Burlington pinned Brett Fuller, Del Norte, 2:47; Marcos Fernandez, Las Animas pinned Justin Hinkle, Fowler, 1:53; Jakeob Trujillo, Highland pinned Judd Magee, Hayden, :35.
113 pounds -- Brandon Grasmick, Fowler pinned Hayden Holtorf, Yuma, 3:18; Case Baughman, Dove Creek pinned Kyle Specht, Cheyenne Wells, 5:30; Brendon Crum, Holly dec. Tristin Pelloni, Meeker, 6-2; Marcelino Baptista, Merino dec. Titus Crawford, Custer County, 12-5; Josh Altman, Paonia pinned Austin Muniz, Rocky Ford, 1:16; Jake Rockwell, Wray pinned Mauricio Paez, Center, :51; Reid Palser, Akron pinned Scotty Vigil, Antonito, :40; Austin Coy, Swink maj. dec. Tanner Guire, Hayden, 14-1.
120 pounds -- Stetson Loader, Baca County pinned Weldon Rusher, Custer County, :43; Chance Randolph, Dove Creek pinned Braden Sampson, Akron, 3:12; Aaron Aagesen, Yuma pinned Colton Martindale, Soroco, 1:55; Jose Chavez, Center pinned Jadon Barella-Valdez, Swink 1:50; Aris Shino, Merino pinned Kylloe Goedert, Meeker, 5:46; Cole Burns, Holly tech. fall Wesley Camper, Rye, 17-2; Dillon Pelkola, Peyton pinned Brenden Herrell, Fowler, :38; Jesse Reed Paonia tech. fall Keith Graham, Sedgwick County-Fleming, 16-1.
126 pounds -- Adam Baca, Rocky Ford tech. fall Robert Gonzales, Del Norte, 17-0; Nick Jones, Dove Creek pinned Kanyon Raper, Lyons, 4:37; Aaron Cochran, Meeker dec. Thomas Roth, Byers, 8-2; John Vigil, John Mall pinned Earl Brewer, Crowley County, 3:35; Bo Pipher, Paonia pinned Tyler Hottinger, Akron, :55; JD Chenoweth, Baca County maj. dec. Noah Trujillo, Antonito, 12-2; Martin Torres Jr., Burlington maj. dec. Jeremy Moreno, Center, 20-11; Ramon Tarin, Wray pinned TJ Richard, North Park, 1:01.
132 pounds -- Cole Baughman, Dove Creek pinned Teddie Klingler, Antonito, :56; Reagan Lane, Eads pinned Nathan White, Highland, 1:17; Alex Tarin, Wray pinned Blake Denton, Swink, 1:33; Gustavo Nungaray, Center pinned Kent Miller, Hayden, 3:58; Gaston Hornung, Burlington dec. Luke Brown, Yuma, 3-2; JC Henderson, Meeker maj. dec. Rhett Hinkle, Fowler, 9-1; Dylan Stroud, Paonia dec. Michael Martinez, Del Norte, 3-1 OT; Seth Harrington, Sedgwick County-Fleming dec. Ryan Nordyke, Holly, 9-2.
138 pounds -- Kris Trujillo, Highland tech. fall Tim Armintrout, Norwood, 21-6; Madison Grinnan, Burlington dec. Jeremiah Moreno, Center, 5-4; Ricky Aragon, Rocky Ford maj. dec. Luke Haefeli, Del Norte, 11-0; Gunner Chesnik, Paonia dec. Nick Ortner, Holyoke, 7-0; WD Arnold, La Veta dec. Bryce McCracken, Crowley County, 5-3; Tryston Keefe, Wiggins pinned Anthony Watt, Meeker, 5:09; Tyler Ebberts, Dove Creek pinned Bryce Leifheit, Yuma, 3:43; Clay Seemann, Baca County pinned Kody Aldrich, Custer County, 3:34.
145 pounds -- Wyatt Wade, Dolores maj. dec. Connor Wills, Kiowa, 9-1; Levi Hottinger, Akron pinned DeAngelo Martinez, Center, 2:23; Brennan Pacheco, Del Norte dec. Danny McCombs, Wiggins, 10-7; Justin Westphal, Baca County dec. Lucas Heinle, Rangely, 9-3; Jeremy Burke, Fowler maj. dec. Angel Dominguez, Yuma, 13-0; Ty Coats, Paonia pinned Blaine Winder, Eads, 2:38; Dalton Randolph, Dove Creek pinned Jacob Freeland, Calhan, 1:16; James Price, Highland pinned Nick Quintana, Mountain Valley, :34.
152 pounds -- Tray Sickels, Nucla pinned Austin Palmer, Holly, 1:35; Chris Villalobos, Highland maj. dec. Christian Espinosa, Center, 13-0; Wyatt Wommack, Custer County pinned Cade Schulz, Wray, 4:39; Aiden Stengel, Rocky Ford pinned Ethan Allred, Rangely, 1:17; Josh Baker, Merino pinned Shaulin Rinaldis, Mountain Valley, 1:19; Bryan Denton, Swink dec. Devon Pontine, Meeker, 9-6; Zach Milner, Paonia dec. Rafe Hutches, Baca County, 7-3
Zach Milner, Paonia; Shawn Beiriger, Del Norte maj. dec. Jahni Krueger, Sedgwick County-Fleming, 11-1.
160 pounds -- Austin McDonald, Del Norte pinned Ryan Schoene, Lutheran-Parker, 1:25; Joshua Forgey, Baca County pinned Colton Coombs, Rangely, 1:24; Jorge Quinonez, Paonia maj. dec. Jesse Evans, Kiowa, 10-0; CJ Leonhardt, Yuma pinned Levi Gallegos, Mountain Valley, 3:53; TJ Shelton, Meeker tech. fall Sy Donaldson, Holly, 16-0; Juan Fraire, Sedgwick County-Fleming pinned George Weatherford, Center, 3:29; Austin Spear, Akron dec. Jacob Pino, John Mall, 11-8; Taylor Weirich, Eads pinned Taylor Lewis, Hayden, 4:56.
170 pounds -- Tyler Sharpe, Baca County pinned Wyatt Applin, Dove Creek, 1:26; Jon Hickman, Lyons pinned Chance Chambers, Fowler, 1:52; Spencer Kotch, Holyoke pinned Justin Wilson, Mountain Valley, 1:54; William Austin, Paonia pinned Rich Lancaster, Peyton, 3:34; Tharen Smith, Del Norte maj. dec. Thomas Groves, Wray, 10-2; JR Crawford, Meeker dec. Aidan Osborn, Kiowa, 8-4 OT; Derrick Richard, North Park pinned Anthony Mendoza, Swink, 3:12; MC Griffin, Stratton pinned Eric Griego, La Veta, 5:13.
182 pounds -- Terrell Stafford, Baca County pinned Jake Jolly, Del Norte, :09; Morgan Reider, Paonia pinned Matt Sullivan, Wray, 1:00; Mitch VanDuran, Sedgwick County-Fleming pinned Ethen Upton, Dolores, 4:41; Charles Bustamante, Rocky Ford dec. Luke Holmquist, Fowler, 3-1; Garret Walker, Wiggins pinned Cody Terrell, Nucla, :55; Jose Cisneros, Centennial dec. Caleb Waite, Limon, 8-3; Brody Wisemon, Swink dec. Manny Pedigo, Custer County, 3-1; Ryan Domson, Hayden pinned Astolfo Rojo, Holyoke, 1:23.
195 pounds -- Johnny Loflin, Baca County pinned Cody Mangum, Mountain Valley, :36; Jonas Cure, Wray pinned Cody Constine, Soroco, 1:13; Adrian Cereceres, North Park dec. Zach Cooper, Stratton, 5-4; Jose Macias, Center pinned Tyler Kimble, Limon, 1:18; Tyler Kendall, Paonia pinned Kobee Sameshima, Highland, 3:10; Nate Finnell, Rocky Ford pinned Brian Bothell, Del Norte, 1:58; Blaine Larson, Fowler dec. Robert Miller, Eads, 6-1; Jesus Hermosillo, Holyoke pinned Drew Collins, Rangely, 3:48.
220 pounds -- Justin Lenox, Eads pinned Anthony Emery, Nucla, 2:57; Trace Elliott, Merino pinned Zack Morgan, Sargent, 5:29; Theodore Zimmer, Highland pinned Matt Stevenson, Rye, 1:58; Joel Simianer, Paonia pinned Weston Downey, Swink, 1:05; Levi Davis, Sedgwick County-Fleming dec. Luis Mariscal, Center, 7-1; Truett Box, Cheyenne Wells pinned Blayde Harrigan, Norwood, 4:56; Lucas Frausto, Las Animas pinned Anjel Arredondo, North Park, 3:53; Dylan Kotch, Holyoke pinned Elliott Blessman, La Veta, 1:36.
285 pounds -- Tony Darling, Paonia pinned David Plute, Lyons, 2:29; Josh Johnson, Stratton pinned Alan Peil, Manzanola, :17; Reed Christensen, Akron pinned Jarred Zumwalt, Swink, :28; Lorenzo Trujillo, John Mall dec. Josh Gallegos, Ignacio, 2-1; Lane Venzke, Wiggins pinned Augustus Kern, Cheyenne Wells, 2:20; Stephen Terrazas, West Grand pinned Dillon Stinson, Rye, 1:58; Tyson Smith, Dove Creek pinned Shane Shearin, Del Norte, 5:37; Keaton, Sameshima, Highland pinned Dalton Westphal, Baca County, 1:17.