LAFAYETTE — One month from now, the wrestling lineups for both Longmont and Centaurus will likely be completely different, and it has nothing to do with the way any of the current rosters are wrestling.
The nature of the beast as Thursday presented both teams with their opening night was that many of the biggest contenders were out of the lineup and only six matches were contested in a 48-21 Centaurus win.
Centaurus' Forrest Lalaguna is still nursing a shoulder injury, while a couple of Longmont's football players were present but not suited up just coming off their semifinal appearance Saturday. The Trojans, too, bolstered their lineup with Will Hickman — a transfer from Lyons who will have to sit half the season.
Nevertheless, there were some well-fought matches among those who got on the mat Thursday at CHS, and both coaches noted valuable lessons were taken in.
"Overall, we were aggressive and went after it, and that's what you want to see this time of year," Centaurus coach Cisco Gonzales said, after seeing wins from Tyler Thoutt (126 pounds), Luis Alonso (182) and Victor Herrera (120). "Our experienced guys are starting to turn a corner with finding success. They are seeing themselves deserving of getting wins, and they are finding ways to get them."
"We've got a couple football guys in there right now, but our (lower weights) are all freshmen," Longmont coach Matt Engelking said, his team's victories coming from Nathan Morris (152), Drake Engelking (160) and Dylan Hassler (113). "Dylan's match was huge, coming against an older kid, and I like his fight."
Thoutt started the night with a 21-second pin, and Centaurus ended the night with Herrera's well-earned fall of Leif Nuesken. Herrera is one of the Warriors who is expected to do big things, and he proved to be fast on his feet while turning a tech fall into a pin at the 5 minute mark.
Herrera was going to wrestle at 113 pounds but he likely will stay at 120, a position he's still happy with.
"You get a little nervous before that first match of the season, but when I stepped out on the mat my mind told me it's just wrestling," Herrera said. "I just want to get my hip control down and use my arm strength. I feel good about (120 weight class). It's just a chance to get stronger."
Alonso's win was entertaining, with a sequence of reversals in the second period leading to a fall in 3:26 of Dominic Policaro. While Alonso came out on top, coach Engelking appreciated Policaro's fight.
He also liked Morris's comeback on Arturo Chaparro, who was in control during the first period before Morris, the lone active returning state qualifier, turned the tables and won a 7-4 decision.
"He set a bar for himself," Engelking said of Morris.
Longmont expects Brandon Martinez (285 pounds) and Logan Goodner (182) in the lineup next week. Centaurus will hopefully get Lalaguna back before the break.
Centaurus 48, Longmont 21
At Centaurus HS
106 — Preston Swan, C, won by forfeit; 113 — Dylan Hassler, L, pin Chance Anderson, 2:42; 120 — Victor Herrera, C, pin Leif Nuesken, 5:00; 126 — Tyler Thoutt, C, pin Joe Castner, :21; 132 — Kade Gendreau, C, won by forfeit; 138 — Gabe Faraca, C, won by forfeit; 145 — Danny Nichols, L, won by forfeit; 152 — Nathan Morris, L, dec. Arturo Chaparro, 7-4; 160 — Drake Engelking, L, p. Angel Mata, 1:45; 170 — Collin Roberts, C, won by forfeit; 182 — Luis Alonso, C, pin. Dominic Policaro, 3:26; 195 — Marcos Fontes, C, won by forfeit.