BROOMFIELD — Javier Tonquinto had to be convinced he wanted to try wrestling.
Two weeks in and with a fractured sternum injury already under his belt, the Legacy junior has been a pleasant surprise for Lightning coach Mike Thompson early on.
Tonquinto earned a 13-12 decision at 195 pounds on Thursday night against Monarch’s Braden Pape and it was a momentum builder for the Lightning, who went on to blow out the Coyotes 61-12.
“We’ve got to work on some mat sense there,” said Thompson, who knows with someone so green that the learning process will be ongoing throughout the season. “This is his first week of competition and we are going to have to coach him through some growing pains, but you can see the heart they have and they work hard.
“If they work hard and they give me 100 percent, I can coach them.”
Tonquinto was in big trouble after giving up a takedown to the equally green Pape with 10 seconds left in the match to go down 12-11. Then Pape’s inexperience showed. He was penalized twice in the final seconds for locking hands, including at the buzzer, and lost the match 13-12.
“He’s only had six practices his whole life,” said Monarch coach Ezra Paddock of Pape. “He’s a super athlete and he wanted to give it a shot. So he is learning as he goes, basically a baptism by fire.”
Tonquinto is still earning the in’s and out’s of the game, but his willingness to work hard is palpable. The standout offensive lineman is learning what it takes to be a wrestler, too.
“Technique, it’s all about technique. You’ve got to be fast and strong,” said Tonquinto, a junior who is still working on his conditioning. “It can get better. “That third period, I was a little winded and it was hard getting down on the mat.”
One kid Thompson doesn’t have to worry about is 113-pounder Ryan Deakin. The sophomore, who finished third at state last season, made quick work of Monarch’s Porter McQuade, pinning him in 54 seconds with a brilliant combination of speed and strength.
“Whenever I step on the mat, I’m trying to beat them as fast as I can every time,” said Deakin, who recorded one of seven Lightning pins on the night. “I get the whole work while you’re out there, but I don’t want to show any mercy to whoever I’m wrestling and just finish it when I can.”
Legacy won the first seven matches of the night, including pins by Derek Coleman (182), Logan Lyons (285), Jakob Otto (106), Deakin and Trenton Blazon (120). Matt Hebel wrapped up the night for the Lighting with an impressive showing — all 1 minute, 6 seconds of it — against Jose Lopes at 170 pounds. Hebel was up 7-1 before recording the fall.
“It was fun to see some of the young guys step up to the plate and get some wins under their belt,” Legacy coach Mike Thompson said. “Our kids work hard and they have great hearts. Hopefully some of this stuff snowballs into the rest of the season.”
Gerry Yang wasn’t about to make the night all about Legacy.
The Monarch 145-pounder had watched his Coyotes teammates lose nine of the 10 matches before his and quite frankly he was sick of it.
“I start getting stressed for the team and I know I have to let out with my all,” said Yang, who finished his match against Brett Waters in just 50 seconds. “I had to set a tone for my team.”
Yang took down Waters early in the match and then held on as he tried to get away to the side of the mat. Yang reeled him back in and got the pin he was looking for.
“Looking him up, I had heard some good things from him. But during the tie up, I’m a heavy handed guy so I threw him down and just snaked him,” Yang said. “I wasn’t going to let him get away.”
The only other win for the night for the Coyotes came at 126 pounds, where Hunter Pape made quick work of Josh Jaramillo scoring the fall at 1:26 of the first period.
“Tonight, they won all the close matches and when you are in a dual like that and you are inexperienced and young like we are, that does kind of snowball,” Paddock said. “It’s a huge momentum shift and they kept winning all the close ones and they have a few horses that are way more experienced than some of our kids.”
Both teams will head to big tournaments before the holiday break. Monarch will go to Las Vegas to compete and the Lightning will head up north to Northern Colorado’s Christmas tournament at the Budweiser Events Center.
Follow Jon on Twitter at twitter.com/JonEYunt
LEGACY 61, MONARCH 12
At Legacy HS
106 — Jakob Otto, Legacy, maj. dec. Kyle Gambino, 12-1; 113 — Ryan Deakin, Legacy, pinned Porter McQuade, :54; 120 — Trenton Blazon, Legacy pinned Reed Coker, 1:04; 126 — Hunter Pape, Monarch pinned Josh Jaramillo, 1:26; 132 — Gabe Rodriguez, Legacy dec. Gerrett Kuyper, 14-13; 138 — Adam Otterson, Legacy pinned Stas Betance, 3:19; 145 — Gerry Yang, Monarch pinned Brett Waters, :50; 152 — Brandon Mosteller, Legacy dec. James Hattel, 10-6; 160 — Corbin Fitzgerald, Legacy pinned Dawson Scott, 3:31; 170 — Matt Hebel, Legacy, pinned Jose Lopez, 1:06; 182 — Derek Coleman, Legacy pinned Chad Cicicra, 1:08; 195 — Javier Tonquinto, Legacy dec. Braden Pape, 13-12; 220 — Alexis Avila, Legacy won by forfeit; 285– Logan Lyons, Legacy pinned Ian Scott, 2:58.