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Ignacio’s Roderick rules at Walsenburg tourney

Senior helps Bobcats crack top 10 as a team
Ignacio heavyweight Jeremy Roderick puts La Veta's Chris Williams in a predicament Saturday at the John Mall-hosted Pete & Ina Gomez Invitational in Walsenburg. Roderick placed first at the weight. (Joel Priest/Special to the Herald)

WALSENBURG – Informally discussing senior Jeremy Roderick’s upcoming match, his last of a long Saturday in Huerfano County, Ignacio wrestling head coach Jordan Larsen commented, “Yeah he’s got that light-heavyweight we all saw over on that end mat.”

Ignacio's Tyler Barnes takes a moment to ponder how best to polish off Dove Creek's Dakota Linton during 170-pound division action Saturday at the John Mall-hosted Pete & Ina Gomez Invitational in Walsenburg. (Joel Priest/Special to the Herald)

Not exactly trying to make a boxing joke, he was alluding to a head-turning “hud” echoing throughout John Mall High School Gymnasium when both 4A Monument Palmer Ridge senior Jaxson Edwards and opponent Ethan Baker of 3A Pueblo Central smacked into the mat precariously close to the wall.

But while Edwards routed Baker by 15-4 major decision, Roderick – who weighed in around a heavyweight division-light 235 pounds – held his ground in the other semifinal, remaining on his feet for most of a 4-1 win over La Veta senior Chris Williams.

Ignacio’s Keaton McCoy controls Fowler’s Weston Johnson near the edge of the mat during their 145-pound match Saturday at the John Mall-hosted Pete & Ina Gomez Invitational in Walsenburg. (Joel Priest/Special to the Herald)

‘Punching’ above his pounds, Roderick impressed all by pinning Edwards 1 minute, 39 seconds into the second period to complete a 3-0 bracket run. After a first-round bye, he recorded a 20-second pin over Crowley County freshman Ian Smith to help undermanned Ignacio finish in the top 10 at the well-stocked Pete & Ina Gomez Invitational.

“That was the first championship he’s won, I believe, in high school,” Larsen said. “The kid was real big and strong, and I’m pretty sure Jeremy was a little bit intimidated walking out there. But he just wrestled well. The kid was trying to snap him down, but the first takedown … Jeremy picked up a leg and took him down to the mat.”

“Took him to his back, and I think we were up 4-1,” Larsen said. “The kid was able to get an escape, but was a lot more timid after that; Jeremy just wrestled smart.”

With mouth guard still in, Ignacio 106-pounder Cayle McCoy grins while receiving congratulations from head coach Jordan Larsen after pinning Simla’s Jonathan Choate Saturday at the John Mall-hosted Pete & Ina Gomez Invitational in Walsenburg. (Joel Priest/Special to the Herald)

Overall, the Bobcats registered 77 points and took 10th as a team, slipping from eighth not long before the final round commenced.

First place went to 2A San Juan Basin League force Mancos, which racked up 173.5 points and held off 3A Gunnison (162.5) and Palmer Ridge (149). Class 3A Lamar (128.5) and Ordway-based 2A Crowley County (119.5) filled out the top five.

MHS had placed second, losing 165-163 to Blanding (Utah) San Juan, at the previous Saturday’s Dove Creek Dawg Fight – an event that Ignacio also attended, but in Larsen’s mind did not perform at as well as in Walsenburg.

“We took fifth, I think, at the Dawg Fight, but that was out of (nine) teams,” he said. “In Walsenburg it was tenth out of, like, 26 (27, actually). So obviously I’m feeling better about the 10th-place finish. Very happy with the boys we’ve got out.”

“In general, we had a pretty danged good day. They wrestled their butts off … and I was very proud of them.”

At 170, senior Tyler Barnes blew through 2A Saguache Mountain Valley sophomore Mason Armenta, Dove Creek freshman Dakota Linton and Mancos sophomore Cole Dainty-Guilfoyle – notching first-period pins, respectively, in 0:23, 1:22 and 1:22 – to reach his division’s championship bout. He went up against CCHS sophomore Robert San Juan in a clash of the top two seeds in the finals, but the Charger survived just long enough to win by pin 58 seconds into the third period.

“That was a tough kid from Crowley … and it was a one-point match, a dogfight back and forth all the way into the third. We just flat ran out of gas, is the truth of it,” Larsen said. “We were down a point, got into a scramble in the third period, and you could tell (Tyler) was hurting, but he was on top cranking the kid, trying to turn him over.”

“The kid ended up catching him … caught his head – I think we got a little too high – and sucked him under, and that was the match. But (Barnes) wrestled a heck of a match; the chips just didn’t fall our way that time.”

Junior Keaton McCoy also earned second place at the invitational at 145 pounds. Starting off, he pinned 2A Fowler freshman Weston Johnson in 52 seconds, then Palmer Ridge soph Paul Tolbert in a faster 44. Pit against 2A Ellicott’s Jedrek Howarth in one semifinal, McCoy’s pin parade continued as he stuck the Thunderhawk sophomore in 1:41 and earned a title shot against Lamar senior Cyrus Madrid, who would ultimately prevail by 10-2 major decision.

Bobcat freshman Kendrick Nossaman got pinned twice and went 0-2 at 152, but sophomore Cayle McCoy went 1-2 at 106 with a first-round consolation-bracket win – by pin, 24 seconds into the third – over 2A Simla freshman Jonathan Choate.

“Cayle getting a win, and Kendrick … figuring out what it’s all about – I was very proud of them,” Larsen said.

Fellow SJBLers Dove Creek tied La Veta for 21st place, with each squad scoring 20 points, while Dolores – which brought just two individuals to the tournament – ended up 27th, unable to register a point.