LONGMONT — In a reversal of a common cliché, the Mead wrestling team lost this particular war, yet the Mavericks nonetheless won the majority of the battles.
With a lineup depleted by injuries, missed weigh-ins, and the program’s still-growing depth, the Mavericks were undone more by what they were unable to do than how they wrestled, as Valley outlasted host Mead for a 40-30 dual meet victory.
Mead actually won five of the nine bouts that took place, but losing out on four of the contest’s five forfeits proved too much for the Mavericks to overcome.
Not that Mead necessarily would have won the matches in its four open slots, but had the five forfeits been expunged from the final point total from both sides, Mead would have held a 24-16 edge.
“If we take away all the forfeits, we win. That’s what killed us,” Mead senior Nick Baldwin said. “Our coaches are good about getting us up and motivated. Teams think that Mead’s just a pushover. That’s what almost everyone thinks. No one is thinking about Mead. They’re always looking at next week. We’re supposed to come out and make them think, when they draw a Mead kid, ‘Oh no.'”
Baldwin got things started for Mead by posting a win in the 160-pound bout, outscoring Valley’s Larry Bol 7-5. The Mavericks enjoyed a trio of victories by pins from 113-pound sophomore Austin VanHooker, 120-pound freshman Cristian Cortez, and 145-pound senior Ian Stinson. VanHooker needed only about 75 seconds to take down Valley’s Andres Ramirez, while Cortez pinned the Vikings’ Ruben Guevara in less than one minute.
Stinson earned his pin against Valley’s Anthony Mozal midway through the second round. The Mavericks also received a victory from 138-pound sophomore Kyle McNellis, who posted an 8-2 decision against Zac Miller.
“We just have to keep our heads up and keep going,” Stinson said. “We can’t let other players’ losses keep us down. We had some close ones there I’m pretty sure we could have won with a little more conditioning and stuff like that. We didn’t really focus on those (open) slots very much. We just have to get out there and keep fighting. We’re battling pretty tough teams out there. I think us battling teams like Strasburg and Valley helps us get up to that level.”
Mead head coach Ty Tatham reserved a high level of praise for Cortez and another Mavericks freshman, Dante Musick. Musick filled in for sophomore Jorge Cortez at the 220-pound slot and acquitted himself well, although he ultimately was pinned in the first round by Valley junior Austin Ramos.
“We have a couple open weights anyway,” Tatham said. “That’s I guess a moral victory. Two of the guys that stood out, and one of them lost, were freshmen. Dante Musick, he came out and really got after it and wrestled well. Cortez has been really driven the last week or so in practice, and it’s really starting to show up in his matches. For the most part, we’re heading in the right direction.”
Pat Rooney can be reached at email@example.com.
VALLEY 40, MEAD 30
At Mead HS
152 — Jackson Wright, Valley, dec. Kyle Couch, Mead, 11-6; 160 — Nick Baldwin, Mead, dec. Larry Bol, Valley, 7-5; 170 — Austin Trujillo, Valley, dec. Greg Rademacher, Mead, 3-0; 182 — Everett Collins, Valley, for.; 195 — Walker Gonzales, Valley, for.; 220 — Austin Ramos, Valley, pinned Dante Musick, Mead, 1:05; 285 — Nick Testroet, Mead, for.; 106 — Ruben Lucero, Valley, maj. dec. Cody Heskett, Mead, 17-4; 113 — Austin Van Hooker, Mead, pinned Andres Ramirez, Valley, 1:14; 120 — Christian Cortez, Mead, pinned Rueben Guevara, Valley, 2:44; 126 — Ben Weakland, Valley, for.; 132 — Zac Miller, Valley, for.; 138 — Kyle McNellis, Mead, dec. Zac Miller, Valley, 8-2; 145 — Ian Stinson, Mead, pinned Anthony Mozal, Valley, 3:02.