LONGMONT — Just hours after sticking pen to paper on a National Letter of Intent Wednesday, Mead’s Kyle Couch pinned another wrestling opponent to a blue mat to gain valuable points for his team.
Call it a banner day for the senior 195-pounder.
Earlier, Couch made it official that he was going to be a Maverick for another four years, signing his NLI to Colorado Mesa University on a football scholarship.
In doing so, he joined Logan Anderson (Morningside College in Iowa) as the first Mead college football recruits, and that was already a proud moment for Couch.
“It’s definitely been special,” he said Wednesday night after Mead was defeated by Longmont 40-33. “(Being the first) is definitely cool. This school is going to be good and there are definitely some good kids that are going to get better. But it feels good, though.”
He only added to the memories by beating a very formidable opponent in the highlight match between the Mavericks and Trojans. Couch, ranked No. 1 in Class 4A by On the Mat, pinned No. 3-ranked Jaime Ramos Vega in 3 minutes, 24 seconds. It moved Couch to 35-1 for the season.
It was the first meeting between the two, and both said it came at the right time as they are expecting another faceoff very soon.
“I knew he was good, and I knew he was going to push me. I need someone like that,” Couch said. “I am sure if I wrestle him again it’s going to be a little different.
“I wasn’t going to change anything (based on the score), and I am sure he wasn’t going to. I was just wrestling.”
“He tends to stay in the low stance, and he’s really strong. It sucks I lost, but I’m grateful,” added Ramos Vega. “I know where my weaknesses are, and I’m going to train towards that. Maybe we’ll see each other at state, and maybe it’ll be different.”
After a couple of missed shots by both wrestlers, Couch had Ramos Vega fighting for the last half of the first period, getting a takedown and then adding another two as the horn sounded.
Ramos Vega could not get off the mat on the second period start, and Couch methodically worked his arm until he was able to make the flip. Ramos Vega said being down 4-0 did not affect his strategy, but he knew he was in trouble relatively quickly.
“I psyched myself out a little bit, hesitated on my shots,” Ramos Vega said. “Once he got me on my back I knew I couldn’t keep up with him.”
Couch’s win ended a string of five straight for Longmont on Wednesday, as the dual meet began at 138 pounds. Mead actually won six of the contested weights to Longmont’s five, but the Mavericks had two open weights to Longmont’s one.
The Trojans had four wins by fall (Anthony Rubalcaba, Ivan Wolf, Drake Greeott, Fernando Ramos Vega), while Mead earned three pins (Couch, Jack Gallegos, Sage Budd).
Longmont coach Adam Keiswetter liked the way his team responded from Monday night, a dual-meet loss to Mountain View by one point.
“On Monday we gave up six bonus-point victories and tonight we only gave them (three),” Keiswetter said. “It was a good rebound from our guys, and they showed more guts. We’re preaching to never stop wrestling, go ahead and score that takedown in the last 30 seconds when you are losing for your teammates, so you don’t give up bonus points.”
Longmont 40, Mead 33
At Longmont HS
106 — Austin Taylor, Mead, won by forfeit; 113 — Tanner Rayl, Longmont, won by forfeit; 120 — Anthony Rubalcaba, L, p. Jeremiah Cortez, M, 3:04; 126 — Sage Budd, M, p. Jared Wells, L, 1:37; 132 — Jesse Ortiz, M, d. Nathan Morris, L, 12-5; 138 — Austin VanHooker, M, d. Ben Ahern, L, 12-7; 145 — Lane Olsen, L, maj. dec. Cristian Cortez, M, 18-4; 152 — Ivan Wolf, L, p. Kyle McNellis, M, 3:27; 160 — Drake Greeott, L, p. Gino Musick, M, 5:23; 170 — Thomas McNeil, L, won by forfeit; 182 — Fernando Ramos Vega, L, p. Peyton Howerton, M, 2:41; 195 — Kyle Couch, M, p. Jaime Ramos Vega, L, 3:24; 220 — Jorge Cortez, M, d. Ryan Jacques, L, 1-0; 285 — Jack Gallegos, M, p. Brandon Ramirez, L, 2:46.