The Colorado State University-Pueblo wrestling squad kicked off their 2012-13 dual season on Nov. 15 as they took on Wayland Baptist University at Pueblo South High School.
Wayland Baptist, ranked number 20 in the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics, was no match for the Pack, who won easily by a score of 56-0. The 56 points accumulated by the Pack is a new school record for points in a single dual, according to gothunderwolves.com.
CSU-Pueblo coach Dax Charles was happy with the team’s performance, as the Pack was only four points away from wrestling’s equivalent to a “perfect game”, which is when each wrestler in all 10 weights records a pin, scoring six team points.
“It was a pretty dominant performance,” Charles said. “All of the kids wrestled well.”
En route to their shutout victory, the Pack recorded eight pins out of ten matches, four of which came in the first period.
Junior college transfer Ray Hall set the tone for the Pack at 174 pounds to begin the dual, as he recorded the first fall of the night with just four seconds remaining in the first period.
The Pack would go on to record four falls in the next five matches, as sophomore heavyweight, Niko Bogojevic and senior Jesse Hillhouse both secured pins.
One of the more impressive performances of the night came from 197-pound wrestler Bill Gray, who is making the transition from heavyweight (weighing up to 285 pounds) to 197 pounds, a significant weight cut.
Gray looked to be handling the cut just fine, as he was able to pin his opponent in a little more than two minutes of the first period.
Charles was pleased with Gray’s discipline to be able to make the cut and wrestle well.
“He made a sacrifice for the team,” Charles said. “He got himself in position early on to make the cut, and stay healthy, and he looked good.”
Other pins came from freshman Jacob Haney at 133 pounds, and senior Nick Stahler at 149 pounds, who literally got the pin at the buzzer.
Freshman 157-pounder John Lewis also wrestled well. Lewis gave up an early takedown to his opponent in the first period, and found himself in a 4-2 deficit.
However, things changed in the second period as Lewis was able to turn his opponent for a near-fall and force him to take an injury timeout. It was all Lewis after that, who went on to record a fall early in the third period.
The final match of the dual saw another senior, Trevor Grant, make quick work of his opponent with a fall in the first period.
The other two matches also showcased dominant performances by Pack wrestlers, as 184-pounder Joe Giron earned a 13-4 major decision, while 141-pound Jimmy Chase recorded an 8-0 major decision.
Though the score was lopsided, Charles hopes to see a little more improvement out of the squad in the coming weeks.
He noted that while they were close to the perfect score, they didn’t quite reach that goal.
“We got to go back in the room to work on a few things, we didn’t get two of the pins,” Charles said. “But besides that, there’s nothing too outrageous (to work on) right now.”