On day one of the season opening tournament at Pine Creek’s Battle of the Best in Colorado Springs, Colo., the Garden City Buffs wrestling team went 3-0 in pool play preliminaries, defeating Fountain Fort Scott, 63-9, Pueblo West 75-3, and Vista Ridge, 72-3, respectively.
Head coach Carlos Prieto said he was pleased with the results so far in the two-day tournament.
“They wrestled a lot more physical. That’s the style I want the boys to wrestle,” Prieto said.
Against Fountain Fort Carson, Kaj Perez (106), Caysean Campbell (120), and Tevin Briscoe (145) each defeated their opponents with technical falls.
In their second dual of the day against Pueblo West, Curtis Near (132) defeated Tyler Valdez with a major decision, 9-1, and Zac Finch defeated Ryan Stipe, 14-7. Antonio Perez (182) fell to Weston Hunt at the 5:15 mark.
The Buffs had just as much success against Vista Ridge. Kaj Perez had another technical fall over Johnny Talmich, while Jesse Nunez (160) defeated Kenneth Bullock, 8-2. Kai Perez, Campbell, Michael Prieto (126), Near, Briscoe, Nunez, Finch, Zeke Herrera (195), Peyton Hill (220), and Aaron Lozano (285) all went undefeated on day one.
“They’re a lot further along than they were last year in this tournament,” Prieto said.
Prieto said the younger guys really stepped up.
Aside from Perez’ and Near’s clean record, fellow freshman Quinton LaPointe (152) managed to go 2-1. His single loss was to Josh Wininger of Fountain Fort Carson in a fall in 3:52. Sophomore Antonio Perez also went 2-1.
“They really did a good job for us,” Prieto said of the younger wrestlers.
The Buffs are set to continue in the the Battle of the Best tournament, dualing Sheridan, Colo., and Ponderosa, Colo., today.
See full results on scoreboard, page D2.