Published: January 8, 2014
After taking several weeks off from competition for winter break, the Pine Creek wrestling team showed few signs of rust Wednesday night.
The Eagles easily defeated 5A Metro rival Fountain-Fort Carson 52-18 at home in their first meet of 2014.
"It's always fun to have that big of a break and have the guys eating a lot and then they have to work it off," Pine Creek coach Billy Gabel said. "To come back and face a team as talented and well-coached as Fountain was a good test for us. There's no doubt some of our guys were tired tonight, but they fought through it and I was happy with them."
Pine Creek came out strong, winning the first five matches of the night, three of which were by pin fall, including 195-pounder Geoff Curtis scoring a second-period pin over F-FC's Tallen Elquist to help set the tone.
"I was proud of the guys the way we took it to them tonight and got a solid overall team win," said Curtis, a senior who deflected a takedown attempt before securing a pin. "It was nice to be able to beat the team who is our primary competition in the 5A Metro."
Curtis was one of five Eagles to score wins by pin, along with Juan Rodriguez (120), Dakota Colonese (138), Kacin Nowlin (170) and Taylor White (220).
Pine Creek 182-pounder Isaac Ortiz had to work a little harder to grind out his victory - an 8-3 decision over the Trojans' Cody Driver.
Ortiz led 3-2 entering the third period, but pulled away with five points late.
"This is a very big win for us as a team because Fountain has four guys who are in the top four in the state in their weight class," Ortiz said. "We're always looking for a challenge, so this helps us out a lot. We have a lot of young guys, but I really think this team is tough and has a shot at a state title."
While Pine Creek looked to be in top form coming off of winter break, Fountain-Fort Carson wasn't up to the Eagles' level of conditioning.
Trojans coach Sam McGee wasn't thrilled with his squad's effort, but did see some things he liked - specifically from his three wrestlers who won by pin, Jacob Schoenberger (heavyweight), Downey Wood (132) and Rashawn Benford (152).
"We have some conditioning do to, as you could see tonight when we were doing well in the first two periods and dying a bit in the third," McGee said. "But I was happy with the three guys who won because those are the guys who have been showing up over Christmas break and putting the work in, and it shows."
Schoenberger won 49 seconds into the first period, Wood picked up a third-period pin and Benford finished his match in the first.
"I've lost too many matches this year and I came out with guns blazing," said Schoenberger, who reversed a pin attempt by Sam Haman for the fast win. "As a team, we clearly need to work harder and condition better the second half of the season."