BOULDER — Fairview’s pre-match ceremony was emotional. Monarch refused to get swept up in the moment.
After the Knights honored their wrestlers and their parents before their final home dual of the season Thursday night, Monarch started quickly behind pins from Griff Wendland and Chad Ciciora and cruised to a 45-32 victory.
“It was awesome,” Wendland said. “It was exactly what we wanted to do.”
With the matches beginning at 152 so Fairview 145-pound captain Chris Robinson could close, Wendland pinned Fairview’s Philip Giomassis in 1 minute, 36 seconds, and Ciciora did the same to James Kiousis in 1:48.
Heavyweight Ian Scott, 113-pounder Ben Ferrera and 132-pounder Landon Alm all added pins for the Coyotes, all in the first round.
“We’ve been working our butts off in practice, and we’ve just been doing everything we can to get into good shape and get our techniques down,” Alm said. “I just felt it was an all-around good match.”
Wendland’s pin set the tone, as it immediately changed the all-Fairview vibe into a reminder that the Coyotes were in the gym with a purpose. The senior improved to 21-9 with the pin.
“I started out a little squirrelly at the beginning,” Wendland said. “I was on my back for a bit. But then I settled down.”
Fairview had two open weights at 170 and 195. Otherwise, the margin might have been closer. The Knights had their share of highlights, as their three most viable candidates for state all turned in victories.
Cito Ballsells, perhaps Fairview’s finest wrestler, scored a 17-3 major decision over Landon Jennings at 182 pounds. Then Melvin Gutierrez and Robinson finished the night with pins at 138 and 145.
“Overall, I don’t think we’re disappointed at all with this loss,” Robinson said. “We had a couple forfeits to begin with, and last year, I don’t think we won a match against them.”
Robinson initially heard Thursday that he was going to have a forfeit win, which would have been disheartening in his final home dual match. He complimented Monarch coach Ezra Paddock for bringing up floater Marcus Homan so Robinson could have a chance.
He pinned Homan in 1:02.
“I have a lot of respect for the Monarch coach,” Robinson said.
Coach Jim Lefebvre’s Knights also got pins from Enrique Vasquez (220) and Preston Cates (106).
Monarch, meanwhile, is rounding into form despite graduating a gaggle of key wrestlers from last season. Included were state participants Christian Valentine and Michael Hattel.
“I mean, our team this year is definitely a bunch of young guys,” said Alm, one of the Coyotes’ few seniors. “Last year we had nine seniors, and this year there’s a lot of freshmen and sophomores with only a handful of upperclassmen. But we’ve come up really well.”
Follow Paul on Twitter: @PaulWillis21
Monarch 45, Fairview 32
At Fairview HS
152 — Griff Wendland, Monarch, pinned Philip Giomassis, Fairview, 1:36; 160 — Chad Ciciora, Monarch, pinned James Kiousis, Fairview, 1:48; 170 — Matt Paluch, Monarch, won by forfet; 182 — Cito Ballsells, Fairview, major dec. Landon Jennings, Monarch, 17-3; 195 — Michael Trenka, Monarch, won by forfet; 220 — Enrique Vasquez, Fairview, pinned Carl Holdt, Monarch, 3:38; 285 — Ian Scott, Monarch, pinned Jesus Luna, Fairview, :57; 106 — Preston Cates, Fairview, pinned Caden Feenstra, Monarch, 3:14; 113 — Ben Ferrera, Monarch, pinned George Martinez, Fairview, :50; 120 — Preston McQuade, Monarch, def. Walter Rose, Fairview, 8-3; 126 — Cliff Lester, Fairview, major dec. James Hattel, Monarch, 11-2; 132 — Landon Alm, Monarch, pinned Jackson Martin, Fairview, 1:39; 138 — Melvin Gutierrez, Fairview, pinned Nathan Brenner, Monarch, 3:05; 145 — Chris Robinson, Fairview, pinned Marcus Homan, Monarch, 1:02.