By Michael Hicks
While the scoreboard showed a decisive victory for Berthoud’s wrestling team, anything further from the truth may have been the real winner. That’s because while visiting Sterling won only three matches — two by pinfall — to the six pinfalls the Spartans claimed, it was the number of forfeits that set the tone for Thursday’s home opener.
Fresh off its season-opening victory at the Windsor Invitational, Berthoud was looking to make a splash in front of the home crowd. Those who wrestled did that, especially in the lower weight classes. But with five forfeit victories from 103 to 119, 215 and heavyweight, the 66-15 win was practically decided even before the Spartans took the mat.
“It’s not as fun for us. All those kids that have worked hard and made weight, they want a match to wrestle,” Berthoud head coach Scott Pickert said. “It’s unfortunate the other team doesn’t have anybody, but we’ll run into that from time to time. You just have to take your win and move on and prepare for the next one.”
The match, which lasted less than an hour, was even shorter for Tylor Bethel, Robbie Workman, Brad Novell, Saul Anderson and Jared Wikre. All they had to do was make weight and show up and victory was theirs to be had. For Anderson, it’s an inauspicious start to his season. He missed the Windsor Invitational due to family reasons and now he’s 1-0 without having faced an opponent.
But the home crowd saw some of whom Pickert considers the strength of his team — those wrestlers from 125 to 140 pounds — at its early season finest. From Graeden Sadlo at 125 pounds up to Brandyn Wahlert at 140, Berthoud scored four consecutive pins — the first three coming in a little more than a minute.
Sadlo jumped out to an early 5-0 lead on Sterling’s Kerry Crose before he finished the match in 1 minute, 12 seconds. Less than two minutes later, younger brother Alex Sadlo followed suit at 130 pounds with a pin of Joel Rieb in 1:15.
The ball kept rolling from there, but that wasn’t a surprise, said Alex Sadlo, who credited the lower weight class success on the work he and his teammates have done with each other over the years.
“We’ve all been wrestling with each other since we were young,” said Alex Sadlo, whose victory sewed up the team win with four matches remaining. “We’re working hard to make each other better.”
It’s hard to imagine they could’ve been much better than they were against Sterling.
Curtis Martinez continued the onslaught at 130 despite falling behind 2-0 early on a takedown by Luke Englehaup. But after his Sterling foe was cautioned twice by the official, Martinez reversed the momentum and scored the pinfall in 1:09.
“When he took me down at first I kind of slipped. I wasn’t worried about anything. I just kept on pressuring, kept on wrestling I got him,” Martinez said. “I just kept on wrestling until I got my form.”
Wahlert then pinned Dylan Veal in 3:00 after scoring a takedown and three late back points at the end of the first period to take control of an early stalemate.
Berthoud also scored pinfall victories at 152 pounds when Trent McConkey won over Chris Sturgen in 48 seconds and at 171 where Josh Atkinson worked his way past Tony Acosta in 5:39.
Sterling opened the match with a pinfall win at 160 for Robbie Helve over Nick Henderson and followed that up with Colby Starkebaum’s win at 189 over J.T Pickert, also a second-period pinfall. But the Tigers didn’t win again until Brandon Zink squeezed out a 5-1 decision over Marcus Lucero at 145 pounds — 10 matches later, which included the five forfeits.
BERTHOUD 66, STERLING 15
103 — Tylor Bethel, Berthoud, won by forfeit
112 — Robbie Workman, Berthoud won by forfeit
119 — Brad Novell, Berthoud, won by forfeit
125 — Graeden Sadlo, Berthoud, p. Kerry Crose, 1:12
130 — Alex Sadlo, Berthoud, p. Joel Rieb, 1:15
135 — Curtis Martinez, Berthoud, p. Luke Englehaup, 1:09
140 — Brandyn Wahlert, Berthoud, p. Dylan Veal, 3:00
145 — Brandon Zink, Sterling, dec. Marcus Lucero, 5-1
152 — Trent McConkey, Berthoud, p. Chris Sturgen, 0:48
160 — Robbie Helve, Sterling, p. Nick Henderson, 2:52
171 — Josh Atkinson, Berthoud, p. Tony Acosta, 5:39
189 — Colby Starkebaum, Sterling, p. J.T. Pickert, 3:09
215 — Saul Anderson, Berthoud, won by forfeit
HWT — Jared Wikre, Berthoud, won by forfeit
<p>Brandyn Wahlert applies a half-nelson on his opponent, Dylan Veal, on his way to a pinfall of his Sterling foe during their match last Thursday at Berthoud High School. The win was Wahlert’s third of the young season, all by pinfall.</p>
<p>Berthoud 130-pounder Alex Sadlo applies the pressure in his win against Joel Rieb.</p>