Four Bulldog Wrestlers Compete for State Glory
Jacob Gonzales, Cole Hernandez, Nick Ponce, and Cayman Garduno Will Represent Centennial at the 4A State Wrestling Tournament
February 15, 2018
This past weekend, the Centennial Wrestling Team competed at Pueblo County High School in the 4A Region One tournament to determine who would qualify for the state tournament, which takes place at the Pepsi Center from February 15th through 17th. The boys put up a tough fight against all of the region’s best wrestlers, resulting in four Centennial wrestlers qualifying for state, with Centennial placing 4th in the team standings.
Junior, Jacob Gonzalez, dominated his matches on Friday, winning his second round match 14-0, but ultimately fell short against Junior Brendon Garcia of Pueblo County in the Regional final at 106lbs. Garcia is a defending state champion, and the two will likely meet again at the state tournament. “I feel confident going to state this year, the last two years I was nervous. All I can do is go to the wrestling room and work harder to prepare myself for this time around.”
Junior, Cole Hernandez, of the 140lb weight class won his match on Friday via pin. He placed 2nd at regionals as he wasn’t able to defeat Trevor Singleton of Pueblo County on Saturday. “I try not to think too much before heading to the mat because I psych myself out a lot. I treated regionals like it was any other match, and that’s how I’m treating state because I don’t want to hype it too much and let it get to my head.”
Nick Ponce, also a Junior, defeated his opponent from Vista Ridge in the 165lb weight class on Friday, and eventually took 1st place by winning his match on Saturday via pin over Jake Gallina, a Senior from Pueblo South. Never having the experience of state, he is very excited and proud of taking first at regionals. “It was the first time I had taken first at a tournament all year, and it seats me in a good place for state, and puts me in a spot to place higher.” Ponce said he plans on listening to whatever his coach says in order to prepare and is treating state like it’s any other tournament.
Centennial’s final qualifier, Junior Cayman Garduno, had a good tournament run, eventually placing second overall. “I’m excited to go and experience it overall, and hopefully I’ll be able to make everything count when it matters most.”
The 4A State Wrestling Tournament will take place from Feb. 15-17 at the Pepsi Center in Denver.