Bulldogs third; Campos MVP

By Tamie Meck

Hotchkiss won titles in two weight divisions and scored 158 points to finish third Saturday at the Delta Panther Invitational wrestling tournament.

It's early in the wrestling season, but the tournament offered some highly competitive matches. One of them was at 120 pounds, where No. 1 seeded Hotchkiss junior Sergio Campos met up with the No. 2 seed, Grand Valley junior A.J. Serna.

This is hardly the first time the two met on the mat. In fact, they've been wrestling for a long, long time, said Campos. "We are great friends," said Campos. "We grew up together, always wrestling."

That friendly competition has made both wrestlers among the best in the state. In 2015 Campos won the state middle school title at 75-pounds, while Serna was runner up at 90 pounds. Last season, Campos finished the year with a 40-4 record and a second-place finish at state in Class 2A at 113 pounds, while Serna was 44-4 last year and was the 113-pound runner up in Class 3A.

In sophomore year head-to-head competition last year, Campos won by a 3-1 decision over Serna at Eagle Valley, while Serna won by a 4-3 decision over Campos at the Panther invite.

On Saturday, Campos humbly emerged the victor, winning by a point after scoring a low-leg takedown in a sudden victory round. Coaches noticed his performance and voted Campos the tournament outstanding wrester, 106-145 pounds.

Hotchkiss sent four wrestlers into championship matches. At 106 pounds, No. 1 seeded junior Landen Mayberry won by a 7-4 decision over Joey Oversole of Buena Vista for the championship.

At 126 pounds, junior Presley Pene took silver, advancing to the championship round on wins over John Mall and ranked wrestlers from Paonia and Grand Valley. In finals Pene lost by a 7-0 decision to Cedaredge sophomore Sean Dale.

Senior Devin Curtis lost in finals to top-seeded senior Jacx Power of Coal Ridge.

Sophomore Jace Peebles (152) was seeded eighth and placed second. Peebles pinned his way to the finals before losing by a 9-2 decision against Grey Neal of Paonia in the championship match.

Freshman Robert Cochran was 3-2 at 113 pounds. Cochran was seeded ninth and placed fourth. Christian Matus (285) placed fifth, and at 132 pounds, freshman Traycer Hall was seeded 12th and placed fifth.