Platte Canyon’s Sam Patterson and Clear Creek’s Evan Brandt had the final match of the day — the third-place match for 145-pound wrestlers.
As other teams headed out after a long day in the Evergreen High School gym, a sea of Huskies and Golddiggers surrounded the mat, along with Evergreen wrestlers who were waiting to tear down.
Brandt came out strong, which caught Patterson off-guard. However, he held Brandt off long enough to advance to second period.
Patterson said later that getting in a single-leg shot and putting Brandt in a half-nelson hold helped him get the upper hand. The Platte Canyon sophomore ultimately came away with the W and placed third among 145-pound wrestlers.
For Patterson and other competitors, the Jan. 8 tournament at Evergreen was the best way to get back into the wrestling mindset after winter break.
“I definitely could’ve done better,” he said.
Patterson felt that the Huskies should’ve done better as a whole, and wondered whether he and his teammates had gotten out of practice over the holidays.
With regionals about a month away, Patterson’s hoping to compete this year. Typically the top four at regionals advance to state, but only the top two advanced last year. After Patterson placed fourth, he was disappointed he had to miss out.
Meanwhile, the Golddiggers’ wrestling season has barely started and is simultaneously half-over, as the Evergreen tournament was their second competition this season.
Clear Creek had six wrestlers place on Jan. 8 — two each in second, third and fourth places. Coach Danion Baca described how it was a mix of seniors and underclassmen.
“It was an all-around team effort,” Baca said of Clear Creek placing fourth overall in the tournament.
He praised sophomore Mateo Gonzalez’s rapid progress in the 152-pound weight class. Gonzalez was winless at the Dec. 11 Wheat Ridge tournament, but placed fourth on Jan. 8.
Some Clear Creek wrestlers are progressing faster than others, Baca commented, because their attentions aren’t divided. For the wrestlers who also play basketball, it’s been more challenging, Baca stated.
Like Clear Creek, Evergreen has a relatively young team this year. Coach Luke Burrier said about half the team this year is underclassmen, which is somewhat unusual.
“There’s a lot of room for growth,” he said of the team overall.
The Cougars had a slower start at their home tournament, he described, but continued to improve as the day went on.
Burrier added that the Cougars enjoyed hosting the tournament and providing an opportunity for everyone to “get back to wrestling.”