BOULDER — The excitement coming off the Fairview bench on Thursday night was palpable.
And not just because the Knights took it to crosstown rival Boulder 47-28 in the battle for the Lynn Daker trophy, but more so how they did it.
The Knights were aggressive and formidable across the board that it even caught the attention of their coach Jim Opperman — a man who has seen a lot of wrestling in his days and knew what was happening.
"We've been trying to get an attitude where we come out here to do some business and tonight is the first time since the start of last year that we could feel it on the bench," said Opperman, whose team will head to the Cherokee Trail duals on Saturday. "We made a statement.
"We've got the makings of a pretty tough team, but we have to get everybody at practice consistently everyday and avoid the injuries. But once it is all clicking together, it's a solid foundation."
The Knights won five of the eight matches contested on Thursday night in The Pit, opening at 126 pounds with Tony Martinez pinning Bryce Myers in 2 minutes, 22 seconds.
Daniel Torres (132), Damian Flores (145), Brock Grandberg (152) and Soren Robinson (170) all posted impressive wins.
It was an especially gratifying win for the second-year wrestler Robinson, who didn't have a chance to wrestle in this dual last year after receiving a forfeit against Boulder.
"It means a lot to come in here and win, it's a big rivalry," Robinson said. "If we continue to work and get a lot better, we are already ahead of where we were last year."
Said Opperman: "I tell the kids to measure themselves against the best kid you'll ever wrestle. We want to beat that guy, and if I hit a guy with this move, is it going to work against the best guy I ever wrestle? That's our focus and where we want to be at the end of the season."
For the Panthers, it was a special night in The Pit. After a years worth of fund-raising and gathering donations — including from alumnus Dr. Jim Gonzales and the Panthers Booster Club — they got to show off their new mat.
The first Boulder wrestler to record a win on it was the Panthers lone senior, Soren Sovendal. He scored a major decision victory, 8-0, over Avery Jackson at 138 pounds.
"We worked hard and Dr. Gonzales helped a lot," said Sovendal, who was one of three Boulder wrestler that Gonzales paid for to go to a Navy Seal wrestling camp two summers ago. "I'm pretty proud of it and happy with what we did."
The youthful Panthers also got impressive first period pins from sophomores Jamey Park (42 seconds at 160) and Manny Arellano (21 seconds at 182).
FAIRVIEW 47, BOULDER 28
At The Pit
106 — Marcus Borden, Boulder won by forfeit; 113 — David Trujillo, Fairview won by forfeit; 120 — Nate Neugeboren, Boulder won by forfeit; 126 — Tony Martinez, Fairview pinned Bryce Myers, 2:22; 132 — Daniel Torres, Fairview major dec. Walker Smith 14-4; 138 — Soren Sovendal, Boulder major dec. Avery Jackson, 8-0; 145 — Damian Flores won by injury default over Marco Deroos; 152 — Brock Grandberg, Fairview pinned Theron Sovendal, 5:43; 160 — Jamey Parks, Boulder pinned David Gates, :42; 170 — Soren Robinson, Fairview pinned Sean Williams, 1:05; 182 — Manny Arellano, Boulder pinned Hunter Perkins, :21; 195 — Jaden Flores, Fairview won by forfeit; 220 — Zare Drevonian, Fairview won by forfeit. 285 — uncontested.