LONGMONT — Silver Creek’s Kenny Jones is having quite a sophomore season for the Raptors wrestling squad. Currently ranked 12th in Class 4A at 195 pounds and rolling with a 16-4 record, altering the working recipe midway through the season would just be crazy, right?
Jones thinks switching things up is just what he needs.
Effective as of Wednesday, Jones has dropped in weight classes and plans to wrestle at 182 pounds, where he believes he has a better chance to qualify for the state tournament on Feb. 20. In his first match at his new weight, Jones pinned Skyline’s Skylar Depew in 1 minute flat.
Maybe Jones is crazy after all. Maybe he’s onto something.
“It was a little tough getting down there but it was just good diet and exercise,” Jones said. “I was having a tough time wrestling a lot of juniors and seniors, a lot of big kids. So, I decided to go down to 182s where I’m a little bit more physically prepared. I think I’ll be the same physically there as my older counterparts and I can prepare better mentally than them. Then, it’s just about executing.”
Just a sophomore and coming off a fall season playing linebacker for the Silver Creek team, Jones entered the season at a weight class traditionally dominated by upperclassmen.
As he began to drop in weight almost by accident, Jones and head coach Michael Silva decided the second-year prep wrestler could be better set up for postseason success at 182. That’s what Jones wants and he’s bought into the idea wholeheartedly.
“I’m hard at work trying to get ready for regionals and hopefully state afterwards,” Jones said. “Last year I didn’t finish where I wanted to. I didn’t go to state. I’ve really pushed myself during the offseason and I’m committed to wrestling and making myself better.”
Wrestling at 195 last season, Jones placed sixth at regionals. But Silva said Jones looked faster and stronger and 182 on Wednesday. After another head-to-head dual this week and a dual tournament this weekend, where Jones should get six 182-pound bouts, the Raptors will decide if the move will be permanent or not.
“In our region, one of those weight classes that will chew you up and spit you out this season is 195,” Silva said. “He’s out of there now and he’s down to 182s. We’ll go from here and we’ll see how comfortable he feels through this week. It’s early enough that we still have the option to move him back but if we’re going to do it, he’ll have to be 182 from now until the end because he has to have half his weigh-ins at 182 in order to wrestle there at regionals.”
With the Falcons forfeiting at 120, 160, 170, 220 and 285, the Raptors won Wednesday’s dual handily by a team score of 54-30.
Tanner Eshleman (113), Jon Jimenez (132) and Kanoa Gallegos (195) won pins for the Raptors.
Despite the loss, the lightweight-heavy Falcons won by pinfall in five bouts – Uriel Contreras at 106, Drelan Lovato at 126, Jesus Contreras at 138, Justis Evans at 145 and Tristan Klingberg at 152.
Falcons head coach Morgan Thompson said Evans (8-6), who is recovering from shoulder and wrist injuries, pinning Sam Elting in 1:38 to open the dual was the evening’s highlight for the Falcons.
“I started off well but he’s really strong,” Evans said. “My wrist hurts to move now but I felt like I performed better than I thought I would. This was my first match back at mostly full strength and full speed so it was good.”
Raptors junior Mitch Webster, who is fresh of a 220-pound Gary Daum Classic title on Saturday, did not have a match. Falcons 14th-ranked senior 195-pounder Steven Feltenberger, who is out indefinitely with a chest injury, did not wrestle.
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Silver Creek 54, Skyline 30
At Silver Creek H.S.
106 — Uriel Contreras, Skyline, pinned Sawyer Novarra, 3:25; 113 — Tanner Eshleman, Silver Creek, pinned Elijah Donovan, 3:22; 120 — Patrick Murray, Silver Creek, won by forfeit; 126 — Drelan Lovato, Skyline, pinned Jack Poole, 3:01; 132 — Jon Jimenez, Silver Creek, pinned Alvar Nunez, 4:18; 138 — Jesus Contreras, Skyline, pinned Dustin Englund, 3:35; 145 — Justis Evans, Skyline, pinned Sam Elting, 1:38; 152 — Tristan Klingberg, Skyline, pinned CJ Evans, 3:34; 160 — Ivan Tellez, Silver Creek, won by forfeit; 170 — Gavin Saiz, Silver Creek, won by forfeit; 182 — Kenny Jones, Silver Creek, pinned Skylar Depew, 1:00; 195 — Kanoa Gallegos, Silver Creek, pinned Brandon Popino, 0:56; 220 — Mitch Webster, Silver Creek, won by forfeit; 285 — Andy Nott, Silver Creek, won by forfeit.