HHS sophomore Jesus Trejo holds his hand up high after winning his semifinal match to qualify for the championship at 120 pounds at the regional wrestling tournament Saturday, Feb. 11. —Johnson Publications photo

In regional wrestling action Saturday, Feb. 11, Holyoke junior Antoni Martinez has his Wray opponent on his back. Even though he lost this match, he later earned a match win to advance to the competition for third and fourth place. —Johnson Publications

Trejo, Martinez headed to the Big Show

Mosqueda, Hielscher just one out from state qualification with fifth-place finishes at regional wrestling at NJC in Sterling
‘It proves that next year we will be tough.’ —Dusty McConnell, HHS wrestling coach

    Jesus Trejo earned 120-lb. regional runner-up honors and Antoni Martinez finished fourth at 195 lbs. to qualify for the 2A State Wrestling Championships Thursday-Saturday, Feb. 16-18, at the Pepsi Center in Denver.
    Coach Dusty McConnell conveyed his pride in the young Dragon wrestling team. However, “it was a tough tournament for us,” said McConnell of the 2A Region 3 tourney held Feb. 10-11 at NJC in Sterling.
    “We were right where we wanted to be after the first day, but didn’t finish the way we wanted,” he added. Just one mistake can make a huge difference in the sport of wrestling.
    Just one out from making it to state, fifth-place finishes were earned by Jessy Mosqueda at 106 lbs. and Remington Hielscher at 113.
    Three other Dragons were just one round away from placing in the top six. They included Nain Vasquez at 126 lbs., Luis Chafino at 132 and Deacon Dittmer at 138.
    Vasquez and Chafino were 2-2 for the tourney and Ditt­mer was 1-2.
    With a team dominated by freshmen, joined by a couple of sophomores and junior Antoni Martinez who had never wrestled before, it was an extremely young crew that started the 2016-17 season.
    From where they started, the team members gained huge experience and finished very strong. “It proves that next year we will be tough,” said coach McConnell.
    He is optimistic about Trejo and Martinez’ opportunities at state and looks forward to the weekend action.
    Noting appreciation for everyone who supported the team this season, McConnell emphasized that the whole coaching staff welcomes anyone wanting to try the sport of wrestling. “We’re willing to coach anyone,” he added.
    Sedgwick County/Fleming won the regional tournament with 186.5 points, followed by Wray 168, Highland 148.5, Akron 106, Merino 97, Burlington 84, Yuma 83.5, Limon 79, Wiggins 78, Stratton 70, Byers 67.5, Lyons 63.5, Holyoke 58, Gilpin County 18 and Clear Creek 5.

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