LOVELAND — Forrest Lalaguna has been through the wrestling ringer.
Yet his passion and love for the sport know no boundaries and no mater what wall is in front him, he tends to just run right through it.
"Wrestling is my passion," said Lalaguna, who has already at his young age been through three knee surgeries. "It's really plain and simple, I love wrestling, I've been wrestling since I was a little kid and have just stuck with it."
The Centaurus senior even gave up football to further his mat skills and he is hoping the payoff comes next month at the Pepsi Center and the Class 5A state tournament.
Currently the No. 3 ranked heavyweight by On the Mat, Lalaguna continued his winning way on Thursday night against Thompson Valley's Chris Diaz. He got the junior on his back in the first minute and won by pin-fall at 1:03.
Sporting several protective knee braces and pads, Lalaguna — who is quicker than a majority of the heavyweights he will face — has adapted his style to fit what his body will allow him to do.
"This is really nothing that I haven't wrestled with before," said Lalaguna, who placed fifth at state last season and also at last week's Top of the Rockies in his own gym. "It's really not even phasing me at this point."
With the countdown to state and the end of a great prep career on, Lalaguna, who has visions of continuing his grappling days at the next level, the onus is on getting better one step at a time and being at his best for the regional tournament in Grand Junction.
The only other top 10 heavyweight in his region is Central (G.J.)'s No. 10 Jordan Horsley.
"Honestly, I just have to wrestle my match," he said. "I just have to focus."
Said Warriors coach Cisco Gonzales, whose team lost the dual to the Eagles 68-12: "It's going to take winning the matches that we are not right now. I really don't think in 5A that there is a guy that stands out head and shoulders above him. It's just a mater of putting a complete tournament together."
The only other win of the night for the Warriors came in the last match of the night at 170-pounds by Luis Alonso.
Down 7-3 after the opening two minutes and a brief spell on his back, Alonso scored a takedown of Jaiden Perry and then maneuvered him onto his back and then held on for the pin at 3:29.
"It was nice watching Luis go out there and compete," Gonzales said. "He went out there and got caught early but didn't quit and got himself back in the match and found a way to take over."
The closest match of the night was at 120's, where Victor Herrera faced a familiar foe in Jay McLaughlin — they met last week at Top of the Rockies — and lost 5-2 on a late reversal.
Thompson Valley 68, Centaurus 12
At Thompson Valley
106 — Kasey Gault, Thompson Valley won by forfeit; 113 — Hunter Williams, Thompson Valley won by forfeit; 120 — Jay McLaughlin, Thompson Valley dec. Victor Herrera, 5-2; 126 — Tim Kinsley, Thompson Valley pinned Elijah Galusha, 3:10; 132 — Vlad Kazakov, Thompson Valley pinned Gabe Faraca, 1:20; 138 — Braydon Besse, Thompson Valley tech. fall Atiba Obika, 19-4 (4:45); 145 — Jonathon Walker, Thompson Valley pinned Arturro Chaparro, 2:40; 152 — Israel Catano, Thompson Valley pinned Angel Mata, 1:23; 160 — Parker Simington, Thompson Valley pinned Collin Roberts, 1:19; 170 — Luis Alonso, Centaurus pinned Jaiden Perry, 3:29; 182 — Chris Ringus, Thompson Valley won by forfeit; 195 — Patton Graff, Thompson Valley won by forfeit; 220 — Jordan Gonzales, Thompson Valley won by forfeit. 285 — Forrest Lalaguna, Centaurus pinned Chris Diaz, 1:03.