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Wrestling places second at state

Celsi Jurgensmeier, Staff Reporter

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The “dirty dozen” takes on state

Eaton Wrestling headed down to the Pepsi Center to compete for a state title and placed second as a team for the first time ever in the school’s history with 145 points on Feb. 15-17.  A strong team of 12, “The Dirty Dozen”, led the tournament as they competed the first day.

In the end, eight wrestlers placed to help the team take second as a team at the state championships.The last time Eaton placed as a team was in 2007 when they received third place. Head coach, Toni Mustari, said, “I was excited; I think our ultimate goal was to get all 14 guys down there. 12 guys is an awesome accomplishment; it has never been done before.”

David Pringle (18) placed sixth, Braeson Lewis (18) and Ty Garnhart (19) placed fifth, Jake Sandau (18) and Hayden Gavette (18) placed fourth, Jeremy Murano (19) and Dylan Yancey (19) placed third, and Ariel Rodriguez (18) was state runner-up.

Gavette said, “State was awesome. We had a lot of fun and were successful at the same time. I don’t think we would have wrestled any better and I wouldn’t trade it for the world.”

Sandau said, “ State wrestling is the most fun I have ever had in athletics, like the way the team bonds and acts like a family is unlike anything else. I’m going to miss hanging out with all of my brothers and just doing our thing and making a name for Eaton Wrestling.”

Heavy hearted, Rodriguez was focused and determined when he entered into the championship match against his opponent from Berthoud High School, Austyn Binkly. Rodriguez gave everything he had in his last match of his high school career, but came up short 8-4. Rodriguez said, “Going into the the championship match I was nervous, but my mind set was ‘it’s just another match on a bigger stage’, I dedicated the last part of my season to Kennedi because I knew she loved supporting not only me but the team.”

The seniors wrapped up their career of four years as an Eaton Wrestler and appreciated the time that was put in and the relationships that were developed throughout the years. Gavette said, “I’ll mostly miss the brotherhood and hanging out with the boys during practice and competitions, especially the late-night roast sessions and the full-team wall ball games.” Many of the seniors have participated in wrestling since their freshman year. Rodriguez said the thing “I’ll miss the most about wrestling is definitely going to be my teammates and coaches because they have been through it all with me the past four years and we’ve grown up wrestling together.”

Eaton wrestling regional champions, sends 12 to state

Eaton placed first overall with a score of 265 points leaving Platte Valley second with a score of 185.5. A total of 12 schools competed. The team took 12 wrestlers to state, just two short of the entire team. Seniors Pringle, Rodriguez, Gavette, Lewis, Braedy Pribelsky, Sandau, and Josue Ortega, Juniors, Toby Gavette, Yancey, Garnhart, and Murano along with sophomore Armando Munoz. This was the first time in several years they also qualified as a team. Eaton hosted the two-day, 3A Region 2 tournament on Friday, Feb 9.-10. The head coach Mustari said, “I like the community support that the program gets. I like being a part of the team where they draw little kids from the same club. I just think it’s hard working kids. These guys realize their capability and what their capable of accomplishing this year. The proudest moment of this season so far was beating Valley to win the conference championship, and also winning the regional tournament.”

Eaton Defeats Estes Park and Highland

Earlier in the season, the Eaton wrestling team demolished Estes Park and Highland in a double dual on Thursday, Jan 25. The Reds crushed Estes Park leaving them 73-0, and sent Highland home with a score of 68-9. Eaton received several forfeits due to the shortage of members on both Estes Park and Highland. Eaton was awarded its first points when Gavette defeated Elijah Kitchen. They concluded the duel against Estes Park when a wrestler on the rival team took a forfeit against Murano. The duel against Highland started with Alhan Rodriguez (18) losing against Highland’s Dante Chirichigno, but all the forfeits and continuous wins, Eaton defeated Highland. Ariel Rodriguez said, “I’m definitely upset; it’s my last year wrestling with all my friends but, I’m just really glad I get to spend this year wrestling with kids I grew up with.” Rodriguez has wrestled all of his high school career.

The reds came out with an undefeated season, the record of 14-0.

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Wrestling places second at state