BROOMFIELD — If Wednesday night is any indication of what the future holds for the Holy Family wrestling team, then buckle up Tigers fans because this could be good.
No, and it is not fair to judge a book by its cover, or in this case a match by its score. Yes, the Tigers lost 52-28 to Fort Morgan, but there was a lot of fight and a lot of potential with a youthful team.
“From the first day of practice we are turning a bunch of kids who never wrestled before into something that looks like a wrestler and a wrestling team right now,” said first year Tigers coach Jason Pedigo, whose team went 3-2 in the opening weekend’s Broomfield duals. “They all have great potential this season to keep going and fighting in matches.”
The unquestioned leader of the Tigers is junior Hunter Branson. Already a two-time state placer, the Tigers 170-pounder looked in mid-season form against Fort Morgan’s Seth Aleman.
Branson, who went 4-1 at the Broomfield duals, was up 8-0 after the first two minutes and after scoring another take-down to start the second period finished the match just 34 seconds into the second period.
“I think the main thing for me is just trying to be a leader with the team. A lot of my teammates don’t feel like they’ve got potential and it’s my job and the other captains jobs to go out there and set an example,” Branson said. “This team ha s a lot of heart.”
After Logan Erickson and Christina Florez each received forfeits, junior Adam Bartoletta opened the night with an impressive 11-1 major decision at 126 pounds over Fort Morgan’s Taven Hobbs.
Bartoletta broke open a tight match in the second period that saw him start in the down position. He scored a reversal and then three back points to take a commanding 7-0 lead to the third.
The other big winner of the night for the Tigers was junior 152-pounder Joe Szymanski. He was on the mat for all of 23 seconds against Xander Gleim and in that time he scored a take-down and three back points before he even broke a sweat.
The aforementioned potential could be seen across the board. Heavyweight Ricardo Valdez, who is brand new to the sport, nearly tosses his opponent Jesus Juan Pablo on several occasion before getting caught himself and losing in the second period. Freshman Matt McCarthy was competitive at 106 pounds and was tied with Miguel Lopez 4-4 early on, but costly mistakes also cost him in the second period.
The Tigers will be at Roosevelt for a tournament on Saturday.
FORT MORGAN 52, HOLY FAMILY 28
106 pounds – Miguel Lopez, Fort Morgan pinned Matt McCarthy, 3:52; 113 – Logan Erickson, Holy Family won by forfeit; 120 – Christian Florez, Holy Family won by forfeit; 126 – Adam Bartoletta, Holy Family major dec. Taven Hobbs, 11-1; 132 – Leo Luna, Fort Morgan major dec. Drew Kuzik, 19-8; 138 – Cael Langford, Fort Morgan pinned David Banda, 1:47, 145 – Matt Flores, Fort Morgan pinned Anthony Arroyo, :47, 152 – Joe Szymanski, Holy Family pinned Xander Gleim, :23; 160 – Kase Givens, Fort Morgan won by forfeit; 170 – Hunter Branson, Holy Family pinned Seth Aleman, 2:34; 182 – Brian Paxton, Fort Morgam pinned Benton Daniels, 1:04; 195 – Josh Contreraz, Fort Morgan pinned Alejandro Barron, 3:16; 220 – James Hochanadel, Fort Morgan won by forfeit; 285 – Jesus Juan Pablo, Fort Morgan pinned Ricardo Valdez, 2:17.