ERIE — After what he labeled a so-so performance by his wrestling squad at the Boulder Valley Invitational over the weekend, you’d think Frederick coach Gerry Galway would have been in better spirits Thursday night.
His Warriors had just obliterated host Erie 51-15 in a dual meet, but the coach was quick to put things in perspective.
Not only was Erie vacant in four weight classes that resulted in forfeits, but the banged-up Tigers were without key contributors Brandon Wetsch (120 pounds) and Ladd Bunker (145).
“They didn’t have anyone in the heavier weights and they had some young kids in there,” Galway said. “Our kids wrestled OK. We didn’t do very well at the BVI last weekend, not as good as we expected, so we wanted the intensity to get a little higher. We made some mistakes, but we’ll get over it.”
The Warriors looked sharp, with four wrestlers recording pins. Freshman Jesse Ortiz continued his inspired start to the season by pinning Erie’s Mitch Vang in 1 minute, 34 seconds in the 113-pound match. Cody Campos (126), Cody Lussier (152) and Jaron Balman (heavyweight) also recorded pins.
“We always have a rivalry with Erie, and it’s nice to come put it to them again,” said Lussier, who pinned Troy Holton in 5:09. “We scored a lot of team points on pins and when we lost, it was by points. That’s how you win duals.”
The bright spot for Erie, like usual, was Clay Bunker, but this one had a twist. The senior again went beast-mode on his opponent, registering a first-round pin against Alex Vineyard. The underlying significance is that it was Bunker’s first ever match at 160.
“I bumped up to wrestle a kid who has said some things, but that’s not the point,” Bunker said. “I wanted a bigger challenge. I mean, you can’t do better unless you’re challenging yourself.”
Bunker has been wrestling at 152 this season and had hinted he would drop to 145 for state. That no longer is part of the plan, as he’ll stay at 152 and allow Ladd Bunker, his younger brother, to take the reins at 145.
That’s if Ladd heals properly, of course. He suffered a herniated disc in his back at the BVI, which will keep him out until next week at the earliest. Wetsch was nursing an injured hip but figures to make a speedy return.
In the meantime, Frederick picked up some needed positive vibes by winning five of the eight matches that were contested. In the most brutal match of the night — at least in regards to blood stoppages — Warriors freshman Dylan Moore earned a 9-4 decision against Erie’s Anthony Nieto-Trujillo.
Also posting wins for Erie were Justin Vang (by pin at 120) and Zach Starbeck (by decision at 132).
Frederick 51, Erie 15
At Erie HS
126 — Cody Campos, Frederick, pinned Jacob Shadler, 3:37; 132 — Zach Starbeck, Erie, dec. Shawn Briggs, 6-3; 138 — Noah Payne, Frederick, win by forfeit; 145 — Logan Brandon, Frederick, win by forfeit; 152 — Cody Lussier, Frederick, pinned Troy Holton, 5:09; 160 — Clay Bunker, Erie, pinned Alex Vineyard, 1:49; 170 — Nick Letkomiller, Frederick, win by forfeit; 182 — Jake Vargas, Frederick, win by forfeit; 195 — Not contested. 220 — Not contested. 285 — Jaron Balman, Frederick, pinned Colby Sweeney, 2:37; 106 — Dylan Moore, Frederick, dec. Anthony Nieto-Trujillo, 9-4; 113 — Jesse Ortiz, Frederick, pinned Mitch Vang, 1:34; 120 — Justin Vang, Erie, pinned Donte Rivera, 5:23.