Sheridan's Faustin Lopez won the 195-pound championship and the Rams finished ninth among Class 3A teams at the state wrestling tournament, which was held Feb. 15-17 at the Pepsi Center in Denver. In …
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Sheridan's Faustin Lopez won the 195-pound championship and the Rams finished ninth among Class 3A teams at the state wrestling tournament, which was held Feb. 15-17 at the Pepsi Center in Denver.
In addition to Lopez, the other three Ram seniors also placed in the top six at state. Presiliano Maez placed fifth at 120 pounds. Homero Navarro was sixth at 132 pounds, and Perrion Gray was sixth at 220 pounds. The four Rams state finishers earned a total of 67 points, so Sheridan was ninth in the standings, well ahead of 10th-place Moffatt County. A total of 34 teams had wrestlers competing in the Class 3A tournament.
Three other area schools, Arapahoe, Cherry Creek and Heritage, had wrestlers at state in the Class 5A competition. Arapahoe and Cherry Creek each had three wrestlers in the tournament, while Heritage had one.
Kai Blake, Cherry Creek's 170-pounder, was the only one of the seven to place as he finished sixth in his weight division. Cherry Creek finished 23rd with 17.5 points, while Arapahoe and Heritage tied for 40th place as each team's wrestlers scored three points.
Sheridan faced a challenge as they only had eight wrestlers on the varsity team this season.
“Our four seniors have been our leaders and this is the best group of seniors I have coached during my 12 years coaching at Sheridan," Rams Monte Nitchie said during the tournament. “I am proud of all my team and I am proud that all our seniors placed here at state.”
The coach said the Rams were fifth last year and he expected to equal or better that placement.
“We lost some tough one-point matches in the semifinals that dropped us to 10th in the standings,” he said. “Our kids wrestled hard and I am proud of the way all our guys battled hard every second they were on the mat. We still did well and I think this is the fifth straight year we have finished in the top 10 in team standings at state.”
Rams senior Lopez wrestled his way to the championship by pinning his first two opponents and he won the semifinal match 7-5.
In the finals, he scored points quickly and never relinquished the lead as he recorded an 8-2 decision over Cotton Eberhardt of Lamar to win the 195-pound state championship.
Lopez said he was excited and it felt great to win a state title but he said that while everyone wrestled hard, the Rams didn't get the results hoped for at state, as he wished all his three teammates could have stood on the awards podium.
The senior said after graduation he plans to continue his education and his wrestling career at Northern Michigan University.
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