GOLDEN — Alameda’s boys wrestling team picked up its sixth dual victory in the Class 4A Jeffco League on Jan. 19.
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The Pirates took a 47-27 win over Golden in the Demons’ gym. Alameda and Golden split the eight matches that were wrestled, but three of the four victories by the Pirates were pins and the fourth was a technical fall in the second period.
“The boys are working hard. The coaches are working hard,” Alameda coach Frank Trujillo said as the Pirates improved to 6-0 in league duals. “I’m so proud of what we are doing because that hard work is starting to show with the wins were are putting up.”
Alameda took advantage of four forfeit victories while only forfeiting one weight class at 113 pounds. Junior William Manzanares (126 pounds), freshman AJ Torrez (132), sophomore Sean Johnson and junior Mushtaq Shokori (157) grabbed individual wins against the Demons.
Torrez took one of the fastest wins of the night pinning Golden junior Max Trujillo in 27 seconds. The win put the Pirates up 18-12 in the team points. Alameda would never trail from there on out.
“This year with more wrestlers we are more structured as a team,” Johnson said. “We come out here with intentions to win. We just want to win. That is our main motivation.”
Johnson had a first-period pin of Golden sophomore Riley Kopser. Johnson then led the Pirates with some post-match acrobatic flips after the Pirates shook hands with the Demons.
“He makes me pull my hair out. That is why I have no hair,” Coach Trujillo joked about Johnson. “Sean is a phenomenal athlete. He is very young. He is doing the right things as an athlete and as a student. He is just a great kid.”
Another great kid who joined Golden’s wrestling program this season is sophomore Noah Limback. The Golden football and lacrosse player — who also played baseball before high school — has become the solid heavyweight for the Demons.
Limback has the quickest pin of the night with a victory in 24 seconds over Alameda sophomore Zeke Torrez in the final match of the dual.
“I started wrestling because I thought it would be a fun sport,” said Limback, who was an all-conference defensive lineman this past football season. “With football it would help me with conditioning, be able to do better hand movements and improve my football skills. Also, I just love all my teammates.”
Golden coach Dave Sauer said it didn’t take long for Limback to pick up the sport.
“He (Limback) is a bright spot for sure,” Sauer said of the Demons’ heavyweight. “We are really excited and we’ve convinced him that this is good for him. He is a great football player and it didn’t take him long to figure out wrestling was good for him.”
Limback, senior Dustin Hendrix (120), sophomore Aidan Kimble (138) and junior Jamie Milton (165) all won their matches for the Demons against Alameda.
“I just want to do the best that I can with my ability,” Limback said. “How much effort I put in will determine how good I do.”
Sauer has put a lot of effort as the Demons’ head wrestling coach for over two decades. He announced earlier this year that his 22nd year will be his last. Golden has one more home dual against Denver West on Tuesday, Jan. 31. The Demons will also host the 4A Jeffco League Tournament on Friday, Feb. 3.
“I have a great coaching staff so that has helped me relax and enjoy it,” Sauer said of his final year at the helm. “I’m sure most of these coaches and kids are really getting tired of hearing my stories. I tell stories every day. I had one of my first state placers here tonight. That’s kind of cool.”
Alameda is hoping it’s just beginning to start a new legacy with its wrestling program.
“One main thing we want to change the way our school is with our sports,” Johnson said. “We don’t have such a good reputation with sports at our school. With wrestling our main thing is to help change that at Alameda.”
The Pirates have the league championships coming up followed by a 3A regional tournament where the top 4 wrestlers in each weight class qualify for the state tournament Feb. 16-18 down at Ball Arena in Denver.
“With this young group just getting them that experience,” Coach Trujillo said of league, regionals and state tournament ahead. “None of them have ever been there (state). That is going to be one of our tasks to coach them in the right way and make them understand what we are there to do and what to take away from it.”
Dennis Pleuss is the sports information director for Jeffco Public Schools. For more Jeffco coverage, go to CHSAANow.com.
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