By Michael Hicks
WINDSOR — While others were earning individual recognition, Berthoud’s wrestling team was opening the 2008-09 season with a workmanlike efficiency.
No, none of the Spartans were named the Windsor Invitational’s outstanding wrestler. That honor went to the Wizards’ Kohl Martin at 215 pounds. And, no, the quickest pinfall wasn’t scored by a Berthoud wrestler. That honor went to Zach Bekkedahl of Poudre, who pinned his second-round opponent, Eddie Canales of Overland, in 9 seconds.
But Berthoud did have some outstanding performances and scored some quick pinfalls en route to a convincing victory at the season-opening meet. The Spartans placed nine wrestlers in the finals, winning six championships en route to 216 points. Fossil Ridge came in second with 196 points and host Windsor took third with 188 points.
“Pretty good day for us. We’ve got some talent in the room. We’ve just got to get a full group, working hard, and we think good things are ahead of us,” Berthoud head coach Scott Pickert said. “This is a good start for us, saw some kids do some really good things. There are some mistakes we need to clean up, but overall I’m pretty please.”
Just how dominant were the Spartans? Berthoud’s six championships almost equaled the number of wrestlers any other school placed in the finals. Windsor had seven finalists — eight when you include 152-pounder Kurtis Ramsay. He wrestled unaffiliated from the Wizards’ main team.
The Spartans’ lower weight classes especially shined, winning five of the first eight finals. Robby Workman at 112 pounds got things rolling with his pinfall of John Stockley in 2 minutes, 11 seconds. It was his third pinfall of the tournament.
Workman couldn’t have started the season any better, well almost.
“If I’d pinned all three (of his opponents) in the first period that would’ve been better, but other than that,” said Workman, who controlled his final match from the get-go.
Not to be outdone 125-pounder Graeden Sadlo did one better, winning all three of his matches by pinfall in the first period. He finished things off with a win over Windsor’s Joey Pattison in 1:07.
“It’s real good. Of course, we’ve got to work harder in the room,” Sadlo said about his start to the season. “They’re good, but I wouldn’t say that this was the toughest tournament. There’s a lot more bigger guys I’ve got to look out for. This was a good prep, though, to get better for the season.”
And that was just the beginning. Curtis Martinez (135), Brandyn Wahlert (140), Marcus Lucero (145) and Nick Henderson (160) also won for BHS, which posted 27 victories in 38 matches. Martinez and Wahlert scored consecutive pinfall victories en route to their titles, while Lucero and Henderson each had to work their way through six-minute battles in both the semifinals and finals.
After a 4-3 decision over Fossil Ridge’s Damon Bowers, Lucero held off the challenge of Windsor’s Frank Witt, 13-10, in the finals. Henderson, meanwhile, scored a 4-2 win over Bekkedahl in the semis before getting a point with 1 minute left in the third period, a reversal and two late back points in a 7-3 win over Poudre’s Stephen Zenzen.
The match was closer than the final score indicated, but Henderson got the boost he needed from Coach Pickert.
“When he (Zenzen) started bleeding I went over and talked to Coach Pickert and he told me what I needed to do and gave me the confidence I needed,” Henderson said.
The pep talk worked.
Every Berthoud wrestler scored at least one victory Saturday, including wins for Tylor Bethel (103), Brad Novell (119), Alex Sadlo (130), Trent McConkey (152), Josh Atkinson (171), J.T. Pickert (189) and Jared Wikre (heavyweight).
Fossil Ridge 196
Estes Park 71.5
103, Tylor Bethel (1-2) — L. Wyatt Falasco (Windsor), 2:55; P. Will Casey (Estes Park), 1:45; L. Preston Blackburn (Fossil Ridge), 8-6
112, Robby Workman (3-0) — P. Majid Mohammad (Overland), 1:12; P. Steven Hall (Fossil Ridge), 4:38; P/ John Stockley (Poudre), 2:11
119, Brad Novell (1-2) — L. Ronnie Toplyn (Poudre), 4:41; P. Nate Sobczak (Windsor-unaffiliated), 2:32; L/Joe Askins (Overland), 0:45
125, Graeden Sadlo (3-0) — P. Josh Donkle (Windsor-unaffiliated), 0:44; P. Josh Knob loch (Windsor-unaffiliated), 1:18; P/Joey Pattison (Windsor), 1:07
130, Alex Sadlo (2-1) — Tech fall. Seth Villa (Windsor-unaffiliated), 5:40; dec. Jeremy Whittle (Windsor), 12-2; L/ Jake Eitzen (Estes Park), 1:57
135, Curtis Martinez (2-0) — P. Jacob Albers (Fossil Ridge), 1:17; P. Josh Whittle (Windsor), 3:09
140, Brandyn Wahlert (2-0) — P. Andrew Pearce (Mullen), 0:20; P. Nick Broeder (Windsor), 1:50
145, Marcus Lucero (3-0) — P. Troy Carroll (Windsor-unaffiliated), 0:46; dec. Damon Bowers (Fossil Ridge), 4-3; dec. Frank Witt (Windsor), 13-10
152, Trent McConkey (1-2) — p. John MacQueen (Windsor), 1:22; L. Nate Lecher (Fossil Ridge), 1:09; L. Mike Chiv (Mullen), 3:39
160, Nick Henderson (3-0) — p. Zac Zenzen (Fossil Ridge-unaffiliated), 4:50; dec. Zach Bekkedahl (Poudre), 4-2; dec. Stephen Zenzen (Fossil Ridge), 7-3
171, Josh Atkinson (2-2) — dec. Scotty Green (Alamosa), 11-3; L. Clay Roth (Poudre), 1:10; p. David Hamer (Mullen), 3:12; L. Brett Ross (Windsor), 11-4
189, J.T. Pickert (2-1) — p. Matt Horning (Overland-unaffiliated), 0:53; dec. Brett Hawley (Windsor), 19-5; L. Brian Leistikow (Fossil Ridge), 3:59
Hwt., Jared Wikre (2-1) — p. Adam Rose (Alamosa-unaffiliated), 0:17; p. Bobby Castorino (Poudre), 1:12; L. Joe Carroll (Mullen), 5:18
<p>Windsor’s Brett Ross, back, controls his match with Josh Atkinson of Berthoud during their 171-pound consolation-bracket match Saturday at Windsor High School. Ross scored an 11-4 decison, one of the few losses the Spartans suffered on the day.</p>
<p>Behind six championships in nine finals, Berthoud’s Spartans collected 216 points to easily outdistance Fossil Ridge for first place at Saturday’s Windsor Invitational.</p>
<p>The Spartans’ Trent McConkey holds the upper hand on Mullen’s Mike Chiv. Chiv rallied to score a third-period pinfall, ending McConkey’s tournament with a 1-2 record.</p>