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Eagles Chase History in 2A Region 3 Win

11 Feb 2018

 By Marc Romero, ICW Staff

The Wray Eagles claimed their first regional championship since 1988 (thanks to Wray Wrestling Club Facebook) on Saturday at the 2A Region 3 tournament held at Northeastern Junior College in Sterling. Frankly; if you said the team title was wrapped up after the Eagles posted an opening day 95 points (the next closest was 69) nobody would have argued. Wray sends a program-best 13 wrestlers to Pepsi Center ThursdayFriday, and Saturday; posting a mind-boggling 302.5 points. Runner-up Burlington finished with 191.5 points, Yuma finished in third with 116 points. For comparison, last year Sedgwick County-Fleming won last year’s 2A Region 3 Tournament with 186.5 points. The Eagles finished with 7 champions out of the 14 weights. Oh, and if the weekend at NJC wasn’t purple-powered enough, even the lone Wray wrestler that didn’t finish top 4 still had a shot at a spot at state with a wrestle-back.
111 wrestlers (per trackwrestling.com) competed in total (out of a possible 224 spots), and while the overall numbers were a bit disappointing, the upside for 2A Region 3 is still the relative youth. Three freshmen claimed regional championships (126lbs - Junior Arambula, Wray; 160lbs - Trent Elliot, Merino, 220lbs - Jose Molina, Wray). A pair of sophomores also won titles (106lbs - Cole Rockwell, Wray, and 113lbs - Cade Rockwell, Wray). As long as we are on competition numbers the 220lb weight class only had 4 wrestlers, so all competitors in the class qualified.
The first couple of championship matches ended up with similar scripts. The wrestler that jumped in front ended up losing (and in at least one case the lead was 6 points or so and the match ended up in a pin). I’m not certain that it means anything, but keep in mind that the wrestlers in the championships had 5 hours or so of sitting around, a little like state wrestling. If nothing else it is the reminder that yes there will be an initial adrenaline surge, and yes you have to either finish it early or control it and you probably can’t decide after the match has started.

The 160lb championship match stood out for a few reasons. The obvious was how close and well wrestled it was (Trent Elliott of Merino won 6-5 over Carson Reese of Akron). The second was this: Reese was leading by a point in the final second of the match. Elliott needed a takedown (both wrestlers were on their feet), shot, got in on a double-leg but it was well countered by Reese who eventually broke the grasp. There was a little separation while on their feet with 2 seconds left, and Elliott did what we too often see a wrestler refuse to do...he tried a desperation throw, and landed it for the win at the buzzer. I wanted to highlight this mostly for every coach that has been exasperated by a wrestler that didn’t even get a shot off while trailing and on their feet.
285lbs was won by Jeron Lippert of Wray. Lippert has a couple of moves he is outstanding at, and the kids that have wrestled him know what is coming, yet he is still successful. For one of the first times in my wrestling coverage, I saw a wrestler (Trent Gramm of Burlington) seem to change his style in game planning for Lippert. It worked well for the most part, but when Lippert got his chance he didn’t miss and still ended up with the pin, but kudos to Gramm for making an effort to take away what his opponent did best. And for those who have read this far, yes I am deliberately being a bit vague just in case a future opponent may be reading. Sorry, I’m Northeast Colorado born and raised ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
With some brackets being a bit shorter in numbers 2A Region 3 ended up with 5 wrestle back matches. In all 5 cases, the wrestler that finished in 4th place retained the spot at state.

Repeat Champions
Cody Jacobsen (Burlington) 120 in 2016, 126 last year, 138 this year
Remington Canfield (Merino) 145 last year, 145 this year
Kobryn Mann (Sedgwick County-Fleming) - 138 in 2016, 152 this year
Carlos Tarin (Wray) 160 last year, 170 this year
Keegan Bean (Lyons) 182 last year, 182 this year

106lb placers
1st - Cole Rockwell (Wray) - SO
2nd - Marc Barkdoll (Wiggins) - JR
3rd - Brody Despard (Byers) - FR
4th - Marco Martinez (Sedgwick County-Fleming) - FR
5th - Alec Holtorf (Yuma) - SO
6th. Gavin Graham (Highland) - SO
1st - Cade Rockwell (Wray) - SO
2nd - Logan Lewis (Highland) - SO
3rd - Joey Ross (Yuma) - FR
4th - Michael Gutierrez (Burlington) - FR
5th - Anthony Rojo (Holyoke) - SO
6th - Tristan Palmer (Byers) - FR
1st - Christopher Gambia (Burlington) - SR
2nd - Dante Chirichingo (Highland) - SO
3rd - Matthew Frank (Merino) - JR
4th - Jake Dickson (Wray) - SO
5th - Braden Smith (Yuma) - FR
6th - Colton Dennison (Byers) - FR
1st - Junior Arambula (Wray) - FR
2nd - Cael Croissant (Wiggins) - SR
3rd - Blaze Brophy (Yuma) - FR
4th - Oran Huff (Lyons) - FR
5th - Jaydon Castillo (Burlington) - JR
6th - Mike Wenholz (Gilpin County) - SO
1st - Gianni Trejo (Yuma) - SR
2nd - Hector Flores (Highland) - SO
3rd - Tyler Collins (Wray) - FR
4th - Seth Dorrenbacher (Akron) - JR
5th - Jesus Hernandez (Burlington) - SO
6th - Miguel Soto (Holyoke) - SO
1st - Cody Jacobsen (Burlington) - SR
2nd - Justin Traxler (Akron) - JR
3rd - Javier Arambula (Wray) - SO
4th - Jesus Trejo (Holyoke) - JR
5th - Branden Wilson (Wiggins) - JR
6th - David Gardner (Lyons) - FR
1st - Remington Canfield (Merino) - SR
2nd - Woody Aguilar (Limon) - JR
3rd - Case Rieber (Burlington) - SR
4th - Luis Chafino (Holyoke) - SO
5th - Derek Saffer (Wray) - JR
6th - Logan Odell (Lyons) - FR
1st - Kobryn Mann (Sedgwick County-Fleming) - SR
2nd - Cade Hillman (Wray) - JR
3rd - Josh Trujillo (Gilpin County) - SR
4th - Dayne Hines (Stratton) - SR
5th - Parker Franz (Burlington) - FR
6th - Jaden Hansen (Yuma) - JR
1st - Trent Elliot (Merino) - FR
2nd - Carson Reese (Akron) - JR
3rd - Emmanuel Huerta (Wray) - SO)
4th - Nathan Foos (Burlington) - SR
5th - Zachary Armour (Stratton) - SO
6th - Campbell Houston (Clear Creek) - FR
1st - Carlos Tarin (Wray) - JR
2nd - Braden Witzel (Burlington) - JR
3rd - Derrick Poss (Akron) - JR
4th - Konner Mauck (Lyons) - JR
5th - Manny Tena (Yuma) - SO
6th - Andy Lopez (Holyoke) - SO
1st - Keegan Bean (Lyons) - SR
2nd - Carson Berghuis (Wray) - SO
3rd - Fabian Lopez (Sedgwick County-Fleming) - FR
4th - Jeffery Pieper (Akron) - SR
5th - Luis Bueno (Yuma) - JR
6th - Javier Chacon (Burlington) - SO
1st - Jayce Reser (Wray) - SR
2nd - Karson Bean (Lyons) - SO
3rd - Taylor Scott (Burlington) - SO
4th - Cayden Lynch (Yuma) - SO
5th - Devon Harshman (Wiggins) - SO
6th - Jacob Houhton (Sedgwick County-Fleming) - JR
1st - Jose Molina (Wray) - FR
2nd - Wryle Swim (Byers) - SR
3rd - Andrew Davis (Sedgwick County-Fleming) - JR
4th - Dakota Jackson (Highland) - SR
1st - Jeron Lippert (Wray) - JR
2nd - Trent Gram (Burlington) - JR
3rd - Shawn Bailey (Sedgwick County-Fleming) - JR
4th - Micheal Johnson (Highland) - FR
5th - Devon Wickham (Clear Creek) - JR
6th - Bano Villareal (Wiggins - JR

Team Results
Wray - 302.5
Burlington - 191.5
Yuma - 116
Akron - 100
Lyons - 94
Sedgwick County-Fleming - 93
Highland - 89
Wiggins - 69.5
Merino - 66
Holyoke - 52
Byers - 50
Gilpin County - 29
Stratton - 27
Clear Creek - 25
Limon - 22

Championship match audio with wrestle-backs: https://www.mixcloud.com/marctylerromero/2a-region-3-championship-matches-2018/