The first round of state 3A wrestling was hard on Hotchkiss.
Of the nine wrestlers they sent to state, only three, Joe Boyle (160), David Mendoza (195) and Conner Beard (220) earned first-round wins. Third-seeded Vikash Hypio was upset by a freshman.
Head coach Glen Suppes predicted that his team would match up better in round two, and he was right
Hypio (106), Dylan Hill (145), Dustin Head (152) and Zack Taylor (285) joined Beard, Boyle and Mendoza to stay alive to wrestle a third match. "We finally wrestled like we know we can, which was good. It was pretty bleak for a while."
In the end, Hotchkiss placed only two wrestlers.
Beard's only loss came in the quarterfinals when Dalton Shoop of Eaton pinned him in the final round.
Beard held a 6-1 lead going into round two against Shoop, who scored six back points to trail 10-7 going into the final round. Shoop caught Beard off guard for the pin at 4:29 and went on to win the title.
"I think I got a little spooked because I was winning so big," said Beard, who wrestled back with four consecutive wins to place third.
"It's a little sad to not be in the finals," said Beard, who was seeded first. He placed fourth as a freshman after losing to the state runner-up by three points in the quarterfinals. He ended his sophomore year early due to a shoulder injury. Beard ended this season with a 26-3 record, injury-free and already looking forward to his senior year.
Senior Dylan Hill suffered a first-round loss to Jake Morrow of Brush, then wrestled back, falling to Kit Reed of Gunnison to place sixth. He ended the season at 23-13.
Senior 195 David Mendoza ended the tournament at 2-2 and was one away from placing after a 12-2 loss to Logan Longworth of West Central.
Hypio ended his senior year with a 32-11 record after a 9-5 loss to Ruben Lucero of Valley.
Of the nine to compete at state, six hope to return next year and better their record. Junior Dustin Head (152) was 1-2, earning his one state win with a pin in 3:57 over TJ Hasz of Faith Christian.
Boyle, a junior, was 2-2 and ended the season at 23-9 and with a regional title. His final match against Jordan Ross of Strasburg was tied at 5-all when he got caught on his back and pinned. And heavyweight Zack Taylor was 1-2, and drew a first-round match against Platte Valley's Raul Rios, who claimed the state title.
Sophomore 113-pounder Garrett Toothaker and freshman 170-pounder Logan Schopp both wrestled two-and-out.
"The experience they get at the state tournament is huge," said Suppes. "The guys that go two-and-out, just the exposure to the atmosphere, exposure to the crowds, it is so psychological." Even some of the more seasoned wrestlers were a bit star-struck on day one. But all in all, Suppes, was more than proud of his team's accomplishments. The Bulldogs earned 46 points and placed 18th out of 39 teams.
"I don't think they ever end like you want to, except with a state championship," said Suppes. "We've had our upsets. This has been kind of a normal finish for us."blog comments powered by Disqus