Ty Coats was all smiles after winning the 152-pound championship Saturday at the 2A Region 1 wrestling tournament in Grand Junction.
"That was a little too close," said Coats after a 10-8 win over Tim Armintrout of Norwood, whom he defeated a week earlier.
In the third period Armintrout had Coats on his back. "I was working him the whole match and I thought I had him pinned once. They didn't call it. (Coach Pipher) said get a tilt on him, so I crunched him and he just rolled through. I went too hard on my crunch, and he just came out on top. Caught me. That'll happen."
Coats knows anything can happen at this level. A four-time state qualifier, he is one of six Paonia wrestlers ranked first ahead of the state tournament, which opens tomorrow in Denver. Paonia won the state title in 2012 and 2013.
"It's awesome," said Coats of his fourth qualification. "It's the last one so it's kind of nerve-wracking. It's the only time I can win it. I gotta win it now, I gotta take it now."
Coats is one of 10 state qualifiers for Paonia. The Eagles scored 248.5 points to win the regional title. Meeker placed second with 191 points.
Day-one competition was tough, and there were a lot of byes, making it difficult to build momentum, said head coach Andy Pipher. "Once we started rolling, it just kept clicking along."
But it wasn't all easy going. Jesse Reed wasn't smiling after a 4-0 win over Ethan Appenzeller (23-11) of Ignacio to win the 126-pound championship.
Reed, a junior seeking his third state title, was already reviewing his match on video. "That's the No. 5 kid there," he said, pointing to the screen. "The whole match. I feel I could have done a lot better. I don't know what was wrong. I just couldn't work my stuff. I don't know why ... My technique on my cradle was off just a little bit, and that little bit, it really throws everything off." Reed said that, despite remaining undefeated (36-0), he was a bit off throughout the entire tournament.
It's the first time Reed has entered state undefeated, and that gives him confidence. "Honestly, I see me in the finals again, I don't know who with," said Reed. With all the top 126-pounders very close in ability this season, "Anything could happen."
Also winning by decision were Bo Pipher (132, 33-2) who won, 6-2, over Chance Randolph of Dove Creek.
At 160, Zach Milner (32-3) defeated third-ranked Devon Pontine (24-9) of Meeker, 3-1, for the title.
Senior Josh Altman (120) will enter the state tournament at 30-4 after pinning his opponent in 31 seconds for the title. And at heavyweight, senior Tony Darling pinned 16-7 Damian Nieblas of Norwood in the first round for the championship.
First-time qualifier Logan Schopp (170, 23-9) placed second with a 7-1 loss to No. 1-ranked T.J. Shelton of Meeker. Returning state qualifier Joel Simianer (220, 24-13) wrestled back to third place after a quarterfinal loss to Hayden.
Paonia qualified two freshmen. At 106, Colton Godwin placed third. Godwin recently gained a little weight and is at 98 pounds, said Pipher. "He's really tough." At 195, freshman Trevor Smith won by sudden victory over Ethan Barnes of Norwood to advance to the third-place round. After a 16-10 loss, he again won over Barnes in wrestle-backs. Smith was wrestling a case of the flu last week, and it showed on Friday, said Pipher. But on Saturday he wrestled strong, said Pipher.
Senior William Austin (182, 22-7) suffered a season-ending concussion Friday. Austin, who was ranked second in state, ends his career with a 43-13 record and 40 pins.
The Eagles qualified 14 wrestlers in 2012, and 13 in 2013. With 10 qualifiers this year, Pipher said he likes the team's chances of a three-peat. "You would always like a little more, but quality is better than quantity and I think we're taking real quality kids over there," said Pipher. "It should give us a real good shot at the state tournament."blog comments powered by Disqus