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Wrestling: Loveland rides momentum to dual win over Boulder

Both teams move wrestlers up in weight for new competition in meet

  • Jeremy Papasso/ Staff Photographer

    BOULDER, CO - Boulder High School's Jamey Parks wrestles Loveland's Marcelo Espinoza-Diaz in a 170-pound match Wednesday in Boulder.

  • Jeremy Papasso/ Staff Photographer

    BOULDER, CO - Loveland High School's Mason Moskalski flips Boulder High School's Dylan Tepedelen to his back in a 152-pound match on Wednesday in Boulder.

  • Jeremy Papasso/ Staff Photographer

    BOULDER, CO - Loveland High School's Esai Martinez, left, ties up with Boulder High School's Tyler Daniels during a 120-pound wrestling match on Wednesday in Boulder.

  • Jeremy Papasso/ Staff Photographer

    BOULDER, CO - Boulder High School's Joseph Johnson wins a wrestling match against Loveland High School's Michael Collins on Wednesday in Boulder.

  • Jeremy Papasso/ Staff Photographer

    BOULDER, CO - Loveland High School's Cody Thompson, left, ties up with Joey Airola during a 126-pound wrestling match against High School's on Wednesday in Boulder.

  • Jeremy Papasso/ Staff Photographer

    BOULDER, CO - Loveland High School's Marcelo Espinoza-Diaz takes down Boulder's Jamey Parks during a 170-pound wrestling match against High School's on Wednesday in Boulder.

  • Jeremy Papasso/ Staff Photographer

    BOULDER, CO - Boulder High School's Dylan Tepedelen wrestles Loveland High School's Mason Moskalski during a 152-pound match on Wednesday in Boulder.

  • Jeremy Papasso/ Staff Photographer

    BOULDER, CO - Boulder High School's Jordan Zicklin gets some escape points during a 145-pound wrestling match against Loveland High School's Collin Larsen on Wednesday in Boulder.

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BOULDER — Loveland coach Troy Lussenhop has been working with a young team this season with the hopes of breaking through and finding success.

Another dual win in the month appears to be showing his team is on the right track.

Fresh off their tournament win in Frederick last weekend, the Loveland Indians traveled to Boulder for a Front Range League meet with the Panthers on Wednesday and pulled away for the 52-24 win.

“I’m really excited about everything this team is doing,” Lussenhop said. “The leadership, the work ethic and just showing up and finally wrestling duals like we should. We haven’t been known to be a good dual team, but now we’re starting to rise up and become a better dual team.”

The dual saw a full night of matches with just two forfeits out of the 14 divisions, in large part due to both teams moving wrestlers around different weight classes to fill out the roster. Half of the Loveland roster moved up a weight class and Boulder have multiple varsity wrestlers move up as well, including Joey Airola going up two weight classes.

“It gives us good competition and helps us fill out the weight classes,” Boulder coach Will LeBoeuf said. “Last year we had a huge problem giving up forfeits. It seemed like we were down 18 points right away, so starting a dual with an even score is a lot nicer.”

The night started with Morgan Johnson scoring a quick takedown and finishing with a pin in 25 seconds at 106 pounds for Loveland. After losing at 113, the Indians went on a winning streak that catapulted them to the dual win with eight straight victories on the mat.

BOULDER, CO - Boulder High School's ...
Jeremy Papasso/ Staff Photographer
BOULDER, CO – Boulder High School’s Joseph Johnson wins a wrestling match against Loveland High School’s Michael Collins on Wednesday in Boulder.

Kobi Johnson moved up to 120 and got a pin midway through the first period to win by fall. The match that caught Lussenhop’s attention on the night was at 126 with Cody Thompson facing Airola, a state runner-up for Boulder. Thompson used his size to score takedowns and work from top position to a 12-2 major decision win.

“The one I liked the most was Thompson’s match with Joey (Airola),” Lussenhop said. “Joey is a tough kid. We wanted Kobi to wrestle him, but all of the sudden they bumped him up to 126.”

The win streak continued with a pin in 15 seconds by Colton Thompson at 132 and a forfeit at 138. Mason Moskalski stepped in the varsity lineup and got a pin at 152 while Jude Quinlan won by fall in the second period at 160, and the other matches won in the eight-match win streak included decision wins for Collin Larson at 145 and Marcelo Espinoza-Diaz at 170. Wednesday’s dual would end with AJ Anderson getting the final win for the Indians at 285 with a fall in the first period.

While the matches did not go their way most of the night, Boulder showed some fight to hang in as long as they could in most of the matches. The Panthers would get three wins starting with Nico Dew winning by fall early in the third period at 113. Theron Sovndal was able to halt Loveland’s win streak with his third-period fall at 182 and Valentine Jung gave Boulder its third win by fall at 195. A forfeit at 220 was also awarded to the Panthers.

“I think with Boulder wrestling, the culture is there,” LeBoeuf said. “Our whole team wants to fight now for the whole six minutes.”

Both teams will return to action in dual meets in their league for their next competion. Loveland will look to keeps its momentum going as it travels to Rocky Mountain next Wednesday.

“This is exactly what we shoot for,” Lussenhop said. “It’s a little too early to be peaking, but riding this through January and February is exactly what I coach the team to do. December doesn’t mean much to us. It’s all about January and February.”

As for Boulder, its attention turns quickly to a home dual with rival Fairview on Friday, one the team is amped up for and looking to win again this season.

“We’re ready for it,” LeBoeuf said.