DENVER — Just taking the mat on Saturday night made Holy Family sophomore Joseph Prieto the first wrestler in his school’s 90-year history to reach the finals at the state tournament.
Prieto fell short of winning the school’s first title, losing an 18-1 technical fall to Jefferson High School senior Aaron Cisneros. The Tigers sophomore still left the Class 3A 126-pound podium with a piece of school history and the comforting notion that he has two more chances to win a state title.
“It feels good,” Prieto said. “Not as good as I wanted to but I went from sixth (as a freshman) to second so that’s an improvement. I’ll just train harder and keep going. I’ve got two more years and I think I can do better next year. “
Prieto lost 6-3 to Cisneros, who became his school’s first state champion, at the Frontier League championships. Tigers head coach Joe Domko said they were confident they would be able to close the gap on Saturday night. But Prieto said that was a different day and a different match.
“To his credit, and he’s a bona fide state champion, he gave us nothing tonight,” Domko said. “We never got into our scoring routine and just like in any sport, when you start to fall behind, it gets tough.”
Domko said the Tigers never lost hope, even in the final seconds, since Prieto and his twin brother Julian Prieto are such good pinning wrestlers.
The Tigers also left the Pepsi Center with a pair of third-place finishes from sophomores Vincent Casados and Julian Prieto.
Casados (35-8) lost his first 113-pound match of the tournament on Thursday, a 2-1 decision to Lamar’s Michael Johnson. Casados rebounded with a 5-0 tear through the consolation bracket, including a 5-2 revenge decision over Johnson in the consolation semifinals to reach the third-place match.
In the consolation finals, Casados defeated Olathe’s Austin Shank 5-1 to take third place.
“I was really nervous my first match. I cramped up, I couldn’t breathe and the kid was really strong so he beat me,” Casados said. “I’m not ever going to give up, whether I’m a good wrestler or a bad wrestler. I love this sport so I was just going to come out in my next matches and try as hard as I can.”
Julian Prieto came out on the top side of a grim finish to his third-place match. Against Olathe’s Trenton Platt, Julian Prieto had a 3-2 lead at the 3-minute mark. The Tigers sophomore had his opponent’s right arm in a Whizzer hold and reached across to secure his left arm.
Since Platt sprawled out to prevent from getting turned onto his back, when Prieto made his move there was nothing between Platt’s face and the floor. He hit his head hard and was knocked unconscious. The medical staff determined that he should not continue.
“I’d rather it had ended right,” Julian Prieto said. “I would have felt like I had earned it more. I’m not really sure what happened. We were fighting for position and my head was down, too, so I didn’t see it.”
Tigers senior Daniel Jansen lost a third-period pin to Fort Lupton’s Jacob Ornelas in the 220-pound consolation finals. Jansen finished his two-year prep wrestling career by taking fourth place in Class 3A.
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CLASS 3A RESULTS
Alamosa 136.5, Bennett 118, Centauri 115.5, Valley 108, Brush 90.5, Holy Family 77, Eaton 75.5, Fort Lupton 67, Olathe 63, Hotchkiss 60.5, Jefferson 55.5, Buena Vista 55, La Junta 50, Salida 50, Sheridan 49, Monte Vista 47.5, Platte Canyon 44, Platte Valley 39, DoloresHuerta 38.5, Lamar 37, Sterling 37, The Classical Academy 36.5, Grand Valley 36, Middle Park 30, Bayfield 29, Florence 27, Trinidad 27,Ridge View 19.5, Basalt 17, Pagosa Springs 13, Ellicott 12, Strasburg 11, Moffat County 10, University 10, Cedaredge 6.5, St. Mary‘s 4, Faith Christian 3, Lake County 3, Manitou Springs 3, Gunnison 2.5, Colorado Springs Christian 2.
106 pounds — Diondre Garcia, Monte Vista dec. Tel Kelley, Alamosa, 7-6.
113 pounds — Conrad Cole, Brush dec. Ruben Lucero, Valley, 6-5.
120 pounds — Neff Malouff, Alamosa dec. Levi Maes, Sheridan, 10-7.
126 pounds — Aaron Cisneros, Jefferson tech. fall Joseph Prieto, Holy Family, 18-1.
132 pounds — Joshua Miller, Bennett dec. Jacob Solseth, Olathe, 6-5.
138 pounds — Andrew Register, Classical Academy pinned Jesse Head, Hotchkiss, 3:59.
145 pounds — Jason Buhr, Centauri pinned Joe Boyle, Hotchkiss, 1:40.
152 pounds — John Lopez, Buena Vista dec. Scott Sandoval, Florence, 4-2 OT.
160 pounds — Micah Keys, Centauri pinned Taylor Maik, La Junta, :46.
170 pounds — Caleb Copeland, Bennett dec. Donaciano Vurciaga, Ft. Lupton, 9-6.
182 pounds — Jareb Aziz, Centauri pinned Gunner Robinson, Alamosa, 3:28.
195 pounds — Thane Smith, Salida pinned Nick Jones, Alamosa, 1:32.
220 pounds — Dalton Shoop, Eaton pinned Justice Reddick, Platte Canyon, 3:43.
285 pounds — Raul Rios, Platte Valley dec. Corby Wyett, Bennett, 6-5.
106 pounds — Channing Lewis, Eaton maj. dec. Colby Duncan, Sterling, 10-1.
113 pounds — Vincent Casados, Holy Family dec. Austin Shank, Olathe, 5-1.
120 pounds — Julian Prieto, Holy Family inj. def. Trenton Piatt, Olathe, 3:00.
126 pounds — Colter McMenimen, Bayfield dec. Dakota Macy, Ft. Lupton, 8-3.
132 pounds — Kole Kelley, Alamosa dec. Omar Sotelo, Valley, 6-4.
138 pounds — Joel Contreras, Sterling pinned Jared Mestas, Dolores Huerta 2:24.
145 pounds — Dillon Vance, Alamosa dec. John Pearce, Sheridan, 6-4.
152 pounds — Jackson Wright, Valley dec. Elias Altimarano, La Junta, 6-4 OT.
160 pounds — Patrick Gore, Valley dec. Hunter Bell, Bennett, 8-7.
170 pounds — Kyle Rosenbrock, Brush dec. Lucas Chieppo, Ridgeview, 4-3.
182 pounds — Riley Jones, Eaton dec. Koby Close, Buena Vista, 7-4.
195 pounds — Indiana Hooser, Platte Canyon pinned Connor Jennings, Middle Park 2:10.
220 pounds — Jacob Ornelas, Ft. Lupton pinned Daniel Jansen Holy Family, 4:42.
285 pounds — Jesse Lucero, Jefferson pinned Hayden Bickel, La Junta, 4:39.
106 pounds — Patrick Esparsen, Centauri dec. Andrew Clark, Bennett, 8-4.
113 pounds — Michael Johnson, Lamar dec. Jordan Birch Classical Academy, 6-3.
120 pounds — Hector Chagoya, Basalt dec. Macky Sandoval, Brush, 7-2.
126 pounds — Ethan Coombs, Centauri dec. Ben Weakland, Valley, 6-3.
132 pounds — Adam Visconti, Middle Park dec. Alec Petterson, Brush, 3-1.
138 pounds — Brandon Coleman, Salida pinned Brandon Heredia, Alamosa, 4:45.
145 pounds — Anthony Mozal, Valley dec. George Staff, Grand Valley, 9-3.
152 pounds — Jake Morrow, Brush dec. Julian Gallegos, Dolores Huerta, 8-2.
160 pounds — Austin Vance, Monte Vista pinned Michael Salazar, Grand Valley 3:40.
170 pounds — Keegan Wentz, Buena Vista dec. Bryan Hegwood, Grand Valley, 6-3.
182 pounds — Kory Hudson, Bennett dec. Cody Garrett, Middle Park, 4-0.
195 pounds — Austin Ramos, Valley maj. dec. Tanner Crist, Lamar, 11-0.
220 pounds — Joe Carwin, Brush pinned Jayce Montoya, Sheridan, 2:20.
285 pounds — Raymond Riggins, Trinidad pinned Matt Eckstein, Bayfield, 4:59.
LOCAL CONSOLATION SEMIFINALS
113 — Vincent Casados, Holy Family, dec. Michael Johnson, Lamar, 5-2.
120 — Julian Prieto, Holy Family, pinned Macky Sandoval, Brush, 3:19.
220 — Daniel Jansen, Holy Family, pinned Jayce Montoya, Sheridan, 4:21.
LOCAL CONSOLATION THIRD ROUND
113 — Vincent Casados, Holy Family, maj. dec. Benjamin Medina, Fort Lupton, 17-3.