LOUISVILLE — Monarch just put the rest of the state on alert.
Granted, it was the first night of the high school wrestling season, but the Coyotes utter dominance of two-time defending Class 5A champion Arvada West 57-9 on Wednesday night should serve notice that coach Ezra Paddock's team is a legit contender.
"Our kids were ready to wrestle this guys, and like I said before, they came into the room in midseason form," said Paddock, whose team will head to Portland, Ore., for the Rose City Championship in a week and a half. "They were dying to wrestle against someone else."
Already with a win by Aidan Quinn in the books, the dual was defined in the second match of the night by Xander Rens at 120 pounds.
The freshman drew Arvada West's Cody Fatzinger, who wrestled for a state title last season at 113 pounds at the Pepsi Center. Rens was not fazed.
"My goal was to get him tired and then beat on him the entire time," said Rens, who has been involved with the Monarch junior program since he could walk. "I've been training triathlons for cross training, I can run marathons and I can do all that stuff, and I felt like I just wanted to tire him out because I knew I had the endurance.
"I wanted to set the tone for the whole dual."
He did just that.
Fatzinger started the match quickly and was up 4-1, when Rens changed the complexion of the match with a reversal that almost resulted in a first-period pin. Instead, he settled for three back points and took a 6-4 lead that he never surrendered. He was up 10-5 after four minutes, again sticking a gassed Fatzinger on his back near the end of the second.
"I know it is probably surprising to everyone else, but we knew that is how he was going to come out tonight," said Paddock, who called this the biggest win in the program's history. "His favorite thing in life is wrestling and he has been all over the state to find the best partners."
Said Rens of his first high school match: "This is exactly what I expected. I have been dreaming about this for so long and my goal was to come out with a bang."
It was just the beginning of a special night for the Coyotes. Monarch went on to win the first 10 matches of the night and got pinfall victories from Cole Polluconi, Taylor Dawal, Hunter Pape, Nate Pritchard, Keegan Feenstra and Dawson Scott.
The quickest work of the night was 220-pounder Evan Williams, who was on the mat for all of 18 seconds against the Wildcats' Conrad Deherrera-Brooks. Senior heavyweight Ian Scott scored an escape in the second period of his match and made it hold up for a 1-0 victory over Gavin McCurry.
"I don't want it to define our season because we have a lot ahead of us," Paddock said. "But this is a big win and it sends a message that our kids have worked very hard and they have a lot of goals in front of them that I think they have a good shot at as long as they keep their work ethic up."
MONARCH 57, ARVADA WEST 9
106 — Cole Brown, Arvada West dec. Zach Hacker, 6-3; 113 — Aidan Quinn, Monarch dec. Garrett Hatch, 4-2; 120 — Xander Rens, Monarch dec. Cody Fatzinger, 12-7; 126 — Parker McQuade, Monarch dec. Angelo Vecchiarelli, 11-10; 132 — Cole Polluconi, Monarch pinned Paul Hrabak, 1:55; 138 — Taylor Dawal, Monarch pinned Michael Patrick, :34; 145 — Caden Feenstra, Monarch dec. Brian Macuras, 4-0; 152 — Hunter Pape, Monarch pinned Caden Crosby, 4:29; 160 — Nate Pritchard, Monarch pinned John Boyer, 3:40; 170 — Keegan Feenstra, Monarch pinned James Gould, 2:26; 182 — Dawson Scott, Monarch pinned Joe Zarate, :38; 195 — Zach Gomez, Arvada West pinned Justin Powers, :42; 220 — Evan Williams, Monarch pinned Conrad Deherrera-Brooks, :18.285 — Ian Scott, Monarch dec. Gavin McCurry, 1-0.