Wrestling: Cherokee Trail off to fast start in opening round of 5A state tournament

Cherokee Trail High School's Zeke Silva wrestles Arvada West's John Boyer on Thursday Feb. 16, 2017 at Pepsi Center. Photo by Gabriel Christus/Aurora Sentinel
Cherokee Trail’s Zeke Silva, top, holds down Arvada West’s John Boyer on his way to a 36-second pin during a 195-pound first round match of the 2017 Class 5A state wrestling tournament on Feb. 16, 2017, at the Pepsi Center in Denver. (Photo by Gabriel Christus/Aurora Sentinel)

DENVER | The first round of the Class 5A state wrestling tournament went so well for Cherokee Trail, the Cougars had an internal contest for fastest pin.

All five of Cherokee Trail’s qualifiers had their arms raised in victory Thursday night at the Pepsi Center, with sophomore David Rivera and seniors Zeke Silva and Max Gonzales — all multiple-time state qualifiers — all winning by fall for coach Jeff Buck’s team.

First-time qualifiers Josh Richardson and Davione Marshall won by good old fashioned decision as the Cougars scored 16 points in the first round of the three-day tournament and earned the chance to get more in the championship quarterfinals at 12:45 p.m. Friday.

“David got us started off, then Josh kept us rolling and so did Max and Zeke and Davione finished,” Buck said. “It’s contagious when you see your brothers out here winning. We’re excited for tomorrow.”

Fifteen of Aurora’s 29 qualifiers will wrestle in the quarterfinals after posting first-round victories. The other 14 wrestlers drop into the consolation bracket of the double-elimination tournament and will wrestle following the conclusion of the quarterfinals. Championship semifinals are slated for 7:15 p.m., followed by another round of consolation matches.

For the record, Gonzales won Cherokee Trail’s pin contest, as he needed just 14 seconds to beat Castle View’s Adam Sepan in a 220-pound opening match. Silva tried to better him by taking down Arvada West’s John Boyer off the opening whistle, but the referee didn’t award him a pin until the 36-second mark.

In the Cougars’ first match, Rivera’s pin came at a more leisurely pace in 4:51 after he’d already built a significant lead over Fairview’s Skyler Calderoni. Richardson and Marshall dominated their opponents for 8-1 and 8-2 decision, respectively.

Aurora wrestlers in the heavier were particularly effective in the opening round, as those in the 160 weight class and higher went a combined 10-1.

A city wrestler will advance to the 5A 160-pound semifinal, as Richardson and Regis Jesuit’s Brandon Minear — a 9-5 winner in his opening round match — will meet in an all-Aurora quarterfinal.

Gateway’s Blake Thomas won the only all-Aurora matchup of the opening round, as he rallied to beat friend and Overland senior Sean Kelly 6-5 in a 138-pound preliminary match.

Both Aurora 182-pound state qualifiers — Grandview’s Tyler Ross in 5A and Vista PEAK’s Jayden Smith in 4A — won handily, while Wolves’ 195-pounder Robert Woods advanced with a takedown inside the final five seconds.

Heavyweights Gabriel Baumgartner (Grandview) and Ryan Campbell (Smoky Hill) each recorded pins in their preliminary round matches.

On the lighter end, Grandview junior Giovani Federico blanked Rocky Mountain’s Christian Deherrera in the opening round at 113 pounds and Overland sophomore 120-pounder Isaiah Bradley won his state debut by shutout over Fruita Monument’s Remington McLean.

Courtney Oakes is Aurora Sentinel Sports Editor. Reach him at 303-750-7555 or [email protected] Twitter: @aurorasports. FB: Aurora Prep Sentinel


Feb. 16 at Pepsi Center

Team scores: 1. Brighton 31 points; 2. Pomona 28.5; 3. Poudre 26; 4. Grand Junction 25.5; 5. Coronado 18; 6. CHEROKEE TRAIL 16; 7. Adams City 15; 8. Castle View 14.5; T9. GRANDVIEW 12; T9. Broomfield 12; 11. Rocky Mountain 11; 12. Ponderosa 10.5; T13. Fossil Ridge 10; T13. Prairie View 10; 15. Monarch 9; 16. Arvada West 8.5; T17. Lakewood 8; T17. Legacy 8; T19. Douglas County 6; T19. Mountain Vista 6; T19. ThunderRidge 6; T22. RANGEVIEW 4; T22. SMOKY HILL 4; T22. Chaparral 4; T22. Fruita Monument 4; T22. Greeley West 4; T22. Legend 4; T22. Rampart 4; T31. Fountain-Fort Carson 3; T31. Mountain Range 3; T31. Palmer 3; T34. GATEWAY 2; T34. OVERLAND 2; T34. REGIS JESUIT 2; T34. Fairview 2; T34. Fort Collins 2; T34. Northglenn 2; AURORA CENTRAL, EAGLECREST, HINKLEY among 13 teams with no score

Full Aurora first round results, here


113 pounds (5A): GIOVANI FEDERICO (GRANDVIEW) vs. Stephen Debelko (Coronado)

120 pounds (5A): ISAIAH BRADLEY (OVERLAND) vs. Darren Green (Broomfield)

132 pounds (5A): DAVID RIVERA (CHEROKEE TRAIL) vs. Dayton Marvel (Arvada West)

138 pounds (5A): BLAKE THOMAS (GATEWAY) vs. KJ Kearns (Coronado)

145 pounds (5A): DERON SOLOMON (RANGEVIEW) vs. Parker Benekas (Ponderosa)


182 pounds (4A): JAYDEN SMITH (VISTA PEAK) vs. Myles Wilson (Glenwood Springs)

182 pounds (5A): TYLER ROSS (GRANDVIEW) vs. Alec Hargreaves (Rocky Mountain)

195 pounds (5A): ROBERT WOODS (GRANDVIEW) vs. Brendon Woolsey (Prairie View)

195 pounds (5A): ZEKE SILVA (CHEROKEE TRAIL) vs. Keegan Bailey (Fruita Monument)

220 pounds (5A): MAX GONZALES (CHEROKEE TRAIL) vs. Ian Helwick (Brighton)

285 pounds (5A): GABRIEL BAUMGARTNER (GRANDVIEW) vs. David Nuriyav (Castle View)

285 pounds (5A): DAVIONE MARSHALL (CHEROKEE TRAIL) vs. Tanner Aitken (Brighton)

285 pounds (5A): RYAN CAMPBELL (SMOKY HILL) vs. Brandon Micale (Pomona)