IGNACIO — Only one San Juan Basin League squad had managed to place above Mancos at Ignacio’s Butch Melton Memorial Invitational after the final whistle sounded.
Five days and a return trip to the scene later, the Blue Jays left little doubt — despite a thin roster — as to which crew leads the loop.
Sparked by Carter Galloway’s up-and-down 9-7 win at 113 pounds over Nucla’s Kyle Short, and highlighted by ninth-ranked 152-pounder Colt Fury’s thorough 12-3 major-decision defeat of IHS’ No. 15 Tyler Barnes, Mancos prevailed in eight of nine bouts Feb. 6.
Four Mancos wrestlers won by pin:
Ayden Matthews, 120 pounds: 1 minute, 31 seconds in Period 1 over Norwood’s Joshua Alexander.Trevor Paquin, 126 pounds, 1:23, Period 1, over Dove Creek’s Caden Baker.Chase Moore, 160 pounds, 1:20 in Period 1, over Nucla’s Tim Helkey.Lot Martin, 170 pounds, 1:03, Period 1, over Cove Creek’s Will McKellips.
Ty Everett clipped Norwood’s Brayden Magallon 3-1 at 138 pounds, but Breccen Morelli was pinned at 1:27 in the third period against Norwood’s Harley Workman at 145 pounds.
But after one full attempted pass through the 14 weight divisions, Mancos’ Andrew Ruatti avenged his teammate’s loss, defeating his Norwood foe 11-4 in what classified as an exhibition for the 152-pounder.
Including 132-pounder Jayden Sanders’ exhibition pin of Ignacio 138-pounder Isaac Welker, Dove Creek ended up with three wins in six tries, led by 106-pounder Quaden Huffaker’s title-earning 38-second pin of Norwood’s Aiden Walton. In another exhibition, Sanders edged Dolores 145-pound entrant Caleb Montoya 6-4.
Cael Schmittel, like Ignacio heavyweight Randy Herrera, earned first place at 182 pounds without facing a challenger.
Dolores, ironically, bettered Mancos at the Melton, tying 4A Gallup for eighth while the Jays tied nonleague 2A Rangely for 11th.
Summary2020 SJBL Championships, first place: 106, Q. Huffaker of Dove Creek; 113, C. Galloway, Mancos; 120, A. Matthews, Mancos; 126, T. Paquin, Mancos; 132, D. Sandman, Ignacio; 138, T. Everett, Mancos; 145, H. Workman, Norwood; 152, C. Fury, Mancos; 160, C. Moore, Mancos; 170, L. Martin, Mancos; 182, C. Schmittel, Dolores; 195, none; 220, B. Escarcega, Dolores; heavyweight, R. Herrera, Ignacio.