|Pelle 4th, Dittmer 6th at state|
|Written by Brenda Johnson Brandt|
HHS junior Broc Pelle emerged as the fourth-place 171-lb. wrestler and senior Skyler Dittmer, with a painful hand injury, finished 6th at 135 lbs.
The success of Pelle and Dittmer, as well as 125-lb. state champ Mark Edmonds, propelled Holyoke to a 12th-place finish with 51 points in the 2A State Wrestling Championships Feb. 17-19 at the Pepsi Center in Denver.
Also contributing to the team was junior Parker Redfern, who competed at 160 lbs.
Pelle fourth after taking a year off
Pelle won one state tournament match at 140 lbs. as a freshman, then opted to take his sophomore year off.
But the HHS junior came back mightily this year, finishing as regional champion and fourth place in the state 171-lb. competition. His season record stands at 37-6.
Pelle won his first match of the state tournament with a 1:00 pin over Berrie Archuleta of John Mall.
He advanced through the quarterfinals with a pin in 3:39 over Terrell Stafford of Baca County.
Against Mike Lozano of Holly, Pelle said he got in bad position and got caught in a throw, losing by a pin in 1:36.
Dragon Broc Pelle leads into a takedown of John Mall’s Berrie Archuleta in first-round 171-lb. action
Pelle’s first consolation match found him meeting regional foe Tyler Korf of Yuma. Pelle escaped early in the second period for the only score of the match. The 1-0 win put Pelle in the match for third place.
It was a heartbreaker when William Lutz of Rocky Ford scored in the final seconds to defeat Pelle 4-2 to claim third place.
Pelle scored initially on an escape in his final match, then Lutz led 2-1 after reversing the Dragon wrestler. Lutz was penalized for stalling and it was a 2-2 match with close to eight seconds remaining.
Pelle took a shot, but Lutz was able to maneuver it into a takedown to avoid the overtime and take the 4-2 win.
Looking back on the season, Pelle cited “the great group of guys who make it a lot of fun.” He added they ended with a great state tournament.
Coach Jack Garrison called Pelle a “real tough man who is physically strong.”
“I didn’t imagine Broc would be as far as he is after taking a year off,” said Garrison. “He’s coachable and very, very strong.”
Getting into stiffer competition in the state tournament arena showed Garrison some things they can work on next year. “Broc hates to lose,” and Garrison looks forward to working with him.
Dittmer is a trooper
Dittmer, more affectionately known as “Skeeter,” was in excruciating pain with his hand injury, but fought the fight through the semifinals, where he lost a five-point decision.
From there, he opted to injury default in his final two matches to take the sixth-place medal. He closes out his high school wrestling career with a senior-year record of 34-9.
“Skeeter is just a tough, crazy guy,” said coach Garrison, adding, “and he’s fun to watch.”
Having finished third at 130 lbs. as a sophomore and fourth at 130 last year, Dittmer was on top of the 135 lb. bracket this year.
When Dittmer broke his hand two days before the opening round of state, he was still determined to go the distance.
He was given the go-ahead to wrestle as long as he could live with the pain.
Clearly hurting, he refused to give up—and never did.
Skyler Dittmer is on top of the action as he pins Gustavo Nungarary
Dittmer said it was a struggle to get used to wrestling with one hand basically, but he pinned his first-round opponent Gustavo Nungarary of Center in 1:33.
The trainer wrapped his hand differently for the quarterfinal match which helped, said Dittmer.
It took some injury time-outs, but Dittmer was able to finish the quarterfinals with a pin in 3:18 over Jace Nordyke of Holly.
Friday night’s semifinal match paired Dittmer with Burlington’s Colin Eberhart. The two had met in last year’s 130-lb. third-fourth place match and Eberhart emerged the victor.
It was a solid semifinal match, but Dittmer ended up taking the loss, 11-16. He said he knew wrestling with one hand would be difficult, but he tried to zone it out. The match loss certainly was not one to be ashamed of.
After that, Dittmer said he decided to call it, and injury defaulted out of the next to matches to automatically take sixth place.
Making it to the podium at all with that kind of painful injury is something to admire.
Dittmer said in four years of high school wrestling he’s learned a lot and most definitely has had a lot of fun.
Looking to graduate this year, Dittmer said he plans to wrestle in college next year.
Redfern returns after injury
Suffering from an injury right after the first of the year, Redfern’s first mat action in the 2011 portion of this season was at regionals.
Attaining regional runner-up honors and qualifying for state after sitting out so long with an injury was a huge accomplishment for Redfern.
Coach Garrison said they were thrilled to have Redfern back for regionals and state, as they weren’t sure that was going to happen.
Garrison added Redfern wrestled two good matches at state, and he looks forward to another year. “I’ll be back,” said Redfern.
In the 160-lb. first round, Redfern was pinned in 3:03 by Chase Hill of West Grand, who ended up placing sixth. “I ended up getting caught in a half Nelson and getting rolled over,” said Redfern.
Taking his next match the full distance, Redfern lost a 3-6 decision to Tyler Sharpe of Baca County.
Parker Redfern, pictured at left, prepares to begin his state tournament venture in first-round 160-lb.
Burlington wins state
Burlington claimed 148 points with two state champions to repeat as the 2A team wrestling champion.
With 58 teams competing in the 2A tourney, Holyoke’s 12th place was commendable.
Top 15 teams and their scores, behind Burlington, are Fowler 131, Paonia 128, Akron 94.5, Rocky Ford 92.5, Yuma 89, Holly 79.5, Baca County 73, Wray 72, Ignacio 71.5, Merino 56, Holyoke 51, Nucla 49.5, Fleming 47 and Hayden 47.
“The whole season has been great,” said Garrison in his first year as head coach for the Dragons.
“Our team is more like a family,” the coach added. “We stick together, sweat together, cry together and celebrate together.”
Happy to be in Holyoke, Garrison said he looks forward to next year’s season.