Cherokee Trail senior Derek Glenn Jr., left, wrestled for a Class 5A state championship for a third consecutive season and finished as the runner-up at 120 pounds. He again earned a spot on the Sentinel Colorado All-Aurora Boys Wrestling Team for the 2021-22 season. (Photo by Courtney Oakes/Sentinel Colorado)

The first season without at least one Aurora boys state wrestling champion in quite some time didn’t diminish an outstanding season on the mats.

Thirty-eight city wrestlers earned a chance to compete at Ball Arena — where the state tournament returned after the coronavirus pandemic forced it to Pueblo last year — and 10 of them ended up on the medal podium at the conclusion of the three-day spectacle.

Those 10 top-six placers, which represent five different Aurora programs, make up the majority of the 2021-22 Sentinel Colorado All-Aurora Boys Wrestling Team, which is primarily based on state results.

Centennial League champion Grandview leads the way with five All-Aurora performers in seniors Gabriel Lasley (138 pounds), Sonny Quintana (145), Andrew Sarro (152) and Josh Allen (170) along with junior Maxwell Kibbee (195), which helped coach Ryan Budd’s Wolves to a city-best fifth-place team finish.

Quintana, Allen and Kibbee earned top-six places at their respective weights, led by the third place from Kibbee, who went 5-1 at state — losing only to eventual state champion Geoffrey Freeman of Chaparral in the second round — and 40-7 on the season. The All-Centennial League first teamer capped his campaign with a win by fall over Pomona’s Justin Cullen in the third-place match.

All-Centennial League first teamer Quintana earned his second career state place by taking fourth and finished 35-8 — moving up a spot from his fifth-place finish at 126 pounds as a sophomore — while Allen (who made the all-league second team) claimed fourth in his one and only state tournament (in which he made the semifinals and went 3-2 overall) and ended up with a final record of 28-12.

Lasley and Sarro (who was a regional champion) both finished 1-2 at the state tournament and were 21-11 and 33-11, respectively, for the season.

Cherokee Trail took a program record and city-best 11 wrestlers to the state tournament and three of them earned All-Aurora honors in seniors Matthew Buck and Derek Glenn Jr. and freshman Chance Matthews.

Glenn Jr. made a state championship match for the third straight season, but lost for the second straight time after he won the 106-pound bracket to become the Cherokee Trail program’s first-ever state champion back in 2020. Glenn Jr., an All-Centennial League first team performer, finished 44-5 and as the 120-pound runner-up as a senior with a 7-2 loss to Ponderosa’s Jacob Myers. He was 103-13 over the past three varsity seasons.

Buck, son of Cherokee Trail coach Jeff Buck, made a miraculous run to the 160-pound state title match after he finished fourth in his region the previous week to set up a tough state road. The All-Centennial League second teamer — not even projected to place in the top six by On The Mat — instead went all the way to the final, where he lost to Ponderosa’s Murphy Menke to finish 38-14 in his final prep season.

Matthews (42-12) — voted the Centennial League’s Newcomer of the Year in the lower weights and the all-conference first teamer at his weight — split six matches in his state debut and placed sixth at 113 pounds.

Coach Javier Quintana’s Eaglecrest team also had a fantastic season that saw one of its wrestlers earn his way into the state final for the first time in 16 seasons.

Junior Dorian Ervin’s first trip to the state tournament ended in the 106-pound title match, where he lost to Chaparral’s Declan Strait to finish a sparkling 45-7. The All-Centennial League second teamer — behind undefeated Dale O’Blia of Mullen, the 4A state champion — was the first Raptor to make it to a state championship match since Rocco DePaolo.

Senior Mike Witt fills the All-Aurora heavyweight position after a 1-2 performance at state to cap a 44-10 season that also saw him make the All-Centennial League first team, while the Raptors’ third representative is senior Aaron Frimpong, an all-league second team performer who fills a 132-pound spot that was the only weight class in which Aurora did not have a state qualifier.

Coach Brent Bieshaar’s Regis Jesuit team had a pair of All-Aurora performers who each performed well in their first chances to wrestle at the state tournament.

Freshman Garrett Reece’s debut season saw him finish 38-11, which included a 4-2 performance at state that ended with a fourth-place result at 126 pounds. Junior Dirk Morley’s rapid improvement between seasons saw him finish in fourth place at 220 pounds after a 34-13 season and foreshadow a potentially higher result next season.

Rangeview junior Greg Brooks entered the state tournament undefeated at 182 pounds and was projected to make the state championship match, but he got stopped by Ponderosa’s Westin Hoffschneider in the quarterfinals.

Brooks rebounded for three wins to get to the third place, but dropped a 6-4 decision to Pomona’s Jacob Judd — who he defeated for the Region 1 championship a week earlier — to finish in fourth place and at 29-2 for the season.

Courtney Oakes is Sentinel Colorado Sports Editor. Reach him at [email protected] Twitter: @aurorasports. IG: Sentinel Prep Sports

2021-22 SENTINEL COLORADO ALL-AURORA BOYS WRESTLING TEAM

106 pounds: Dorian Ervin, jr., Eaglecrest
113 pounds: Chance Matthews, fr., Cherokee Trail
120 pounds: Derek Glenn Jr., sr., Cherokee Trail
126 pounds: Garrett Reece, fr., Regis Jesuit
132 pounds: Aaron Frimpong, sr., Eaglecrest
138 pounds: Gabriel Lasley, sr., Grandview
145 pounds: Sonny Quintana, sr., Grandview
152 pounds: Andrew Sarro, sr., Grandview
160 pounds: Matthew Buck, sr., Cherokee Trail
170 pounds: Josh Allen, sr., Grandview
182 pounds: Greg Brooks, jr., Rangeview
195 pounds: Maxwell Kibbee, jr., Grandview
220 pounds: Dirk Morley, jr., Regis Jesuit
285 pounds: Mike Witt, sr., Eaglecrest

Honorable mention: Sean Arnett, jr., Grandview (120 pounds); Hunter Baird, sr., Eaglecrest (182 pounds); Keegan Beckford, sr., Eaglecrest (120 pounds); Zach Brophy, soph., Smoky Hill (160 pounds); Ethan Diaz, soph., Eaglecrest (113 pounds); Kobe Euell, sr., Cherokee Trail (285 pounds); Jay Everhart, soph., Cherokee Trail (106 pounds); Angelo Falise, sr., Grandview (285 pounds); Zack Fish, sr., Cherokee Trail (170 pounds); Nate Gaye, sr., Cherokee Trail (220 pounds); Ryan Hensley, sr., Overland (160 pounds); Rhett Herman, jr., Grandview (113 pounds); Nate Jackson, jr., Cherokee Trail (126 pounds); Dashawn Jenkins, fr., Smoky Hill (106 pounds); Dalton Leivian, soph., Eaglecrest (195 pounds); Finn O’Riley, sr., Cherokee Trail (152 pounds); Dominic Pacheco, fr., Overland (106 pounds); John Pohl, jr., Eaglecrest (145 pounds); Nehemiah Quintana, soph., Grandview (126 pounds); Talen Rice, sr., Grandview (182 pounds); Brayden Smith, jr., Cherokee Trail (138 pounds); Versean Steward, sr., Overland (182 pounds); Ezekiel Taylor, jr., Vista PEAK (182 pounds, 4A); Zion Taylor, jr., Regis Jesuit (160 pounds); Oscar Valdez, jr., Vista PEAK (195 pounds); Ellis Williams, jr., Cherokee Trail (195 pounds)

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