DENVER — A season of spilling blood, sweat and tears at practice and competition all while battling to make weight week-in and week-out culminated into Alamosa’s second state team title in as many years.
The Mean Moose had created a dynasty from 2011 to 2013 with three straight team titles. While they would have a number of wrestlers top the podium they would have to wait until 2018 to bag another team title. This year’s title puts the Moose at 12, tying them with Rocky Ford for most in the state. While the young men who fought through the championship bracket were important in this team accomplishment, the Moose fielded some warriors in the consolation bracket.
Three wrestlers made it to the championship matches. But almost half of the Moose that qualified for State found podium spots through the consolation bracket.
In his forty years molding young people into grapplers Coach Ramstetter knows the how big a role every single wrestler within a team can make. “I thought we competed pretty well..But we had a solid team effort, we placed seven guys, that’s a lot of medals.” Ramstetter continued, “Everyone got points, that’s important to me too.” The team was also recognized beyond the podium. Ramstetter and senior Joe Chavez took home ‘Outstanding Coach’ and ‘Outstanding Wrestler’ respectively for 3A. In his final year Chavez took home his third individual title but was also given the honor of 3A’s ‘Wrestler of the Year’ as voted on by the coaches. Chavez claimed victory with a 7-2 decision over his opponent from Pueblo Central, Jimmy Gonzales.
Behind Chavez were teammates Davion Chavez and Logan Thompson who also made it to championship matches. Davion would score first in his match with Woodland Park’s Brady Hankin. But then Hankin would register a take down and collect the pin. The 106-pound class was of particular interest as Jaslynn Gallegos and Angel Rios were the first two girls to place in CHSAA history.
At 285 it was Alamosa’s Logan Thompson against Emmanual Munoz-Alcala in the title match. It would go to the final period before either wrestler would score. Munoz-Alcala collected a reversal and followed up with a near-fall to take a 5-0 decision over Thompson.
Elijah De La Cerda would finish in third place for the Moose after falling to the eventual 113 pound champion Angelo Lozado in the semi-finals. De La Cerda scored a pin in the consolation semi-finals and followed it up with a major decision to earn third place.
Behind De La Cerda were Colton Liddell and Hunter Smith each taking fourth place while Kolten Hillis and Austin Trujillo rounded out the placings for the Moose with 6th place finishes. When asked about the newly minted title Ramstetter employs the same even keel with which he coaches, “Winnings always fun” says Ramstetter “I like it for the kids too...they’ll remember that for the rest of their lives.”
In the 2A bracket Centauri was one point shy of bringing home something to put in the trophy case. As Centauri finished with 95 team points, just behind second place team Cedaredge who logged 96 team points.
The Falcons crowned two state champions on Saturday. At 145 it was Zach Martin. Martin would fall behind on the scoreboard early to his opponent Tannen Kennedy of Meeker 4-1 after one period. While Martin would make up ground in the second period he’d still trail with 2 minutes to go by a score of 7-5. Martin would select down position entering the third and make good on it with an escape. He’d follow up with a takedown to earn the lead. Kennedy would score a reversal to reclaim the lead with less than a minute to go.
With 30 seconds remaining Martin tied the match with an escape and would log a takedown to earn the title with 2 seconds remaining in the match.
At 285 pounds Bennie Chacon worked quickly against opponent Levi Peterson of Paonia going up 7-1 before ending things with pin with 10 second remaining in the first period. Eyan Chavez for Centauri would also earn a championship match, his at 126 pounds. Chavez would fall behind early to Oran Huff of Lyons and couldn’t make up enough ground in the final period. Elsewhere Zach Sandoval made his way to a podium taking 6th at 160 pounds.
For Monte Vista it was Nicolas Garcia. At 126 pounds Garcia would fall to Huff in the quarterfinal round but would battle through the consolation brackets for a fifth place finish.