Published: February 15, 2014
With Fabian Hermosillo and Andrew Register on opposite sides of the Class 3A Region?3 145-pound bracket, Ellicott coach Tom Talmich summed it up best when he said he hoped Hermosillo would see him two more times, "once here in the finals, once there in the finals."
The "him" referred to Register, the defending state champion. The "here" is at The Classical Academy in the regional finals. "There" is in next week's state finals at the Pepsi Center in Denver.
Register is the top-ranked, 145-pound wrestler in 3A, according to Tim Yount's On the Mat rankings, while Ellicot's Hermosillo is third. And the two have seen each other plenty the last four seasons.
"Every time we wrestle it's a fun match," Register of TCA said. "We know each other pretty well. That makes it tougher, because he kind of knows what I'm looking for and I kind of know what he's looking for."
Hermosillo quickly rattled off the seniors' matches against each other. Register leads with a record of 4-3.
"It's like a history now," Hermosillo said. "I've wrestled this kid so many times. He beat me, I beat him. Hopefully I can beat him again."
After dropping the first two meetings this season to Hermosillo, Register redeemed himself at the Metro Championships a couple weeks ago.
The two wrestlers both cruised through their opening matches with pins to advance to Saturday's semifinals. If they both get past that, they'll meet in the finals.
Neither one is hoping it ends any other way.
"It's absolutely one of the best experiences in wrestling," Register said. "It's not team to team any more. It's great that we're able to still be friends after it, no matter who wins or loses."
In past seasons, Register said the two have practiced together before state. Both also admitted to watching the other at tournaments, whether to learn or to pick up tips.
Hermosillo knew Register would be gunning for him at Metros after falling twice earlier in the season.
"It was exciting (beating him), but I always knew he was going to come back at some point," Hermosillo said.
When asked who he'd like to face if he could get back to the state title match, Register named Sterling's Joel Contreras, ranked second by Yount.
When asked what it would be like if he could meet Hermosillo in the finals, Register laughed, as though enjoying the prospect of facing Hermosillo in the pair's career-ending match.
"That would be pretty crazy," he said. "Yeah, that would be a blast, too."