Left Hand Valley Courier - All Local, All The Time

By Jocelyn Rowley

Wrestling: Niwot alums see Cougars take on Elizabeth


January 11, 2018

Jocelyn Rowley

Former Niwot wrestlers gathered for the second annual Alumni Night on Jan. 5. Pictured from left to right are assistant coach Todd Johnson (‘94), Jorge Garcia (‘97), Mike Gabriel (‘99), Brett Ruggle (‘77), Dave Webster (‘90), Wes Jones (‘80), Tim Gorman (‘82), Ian Schultz (‘80), Peter Freemen (‘08), Brandon Slepicka (‘14), and Mike Gill (‘83)

Representatives from five decades of Niwot wrestling were on hand for the second-annual Niwot Wrestling Alumni Night, held Jan. 5 during the Cougars’ dual against Elizabeth. From Brett Rugger (class of 1977) to Brandon Slepicka (2014), more than a dozen former Cougar grapplers came out for the event, which was organized by Niwot head wrestling coach Bobby Matthews in an effort to strengthen ties between his team and the community.

“Thank you guys for coming out here and trying to help us build the program back to where it’s been,” he said in a short ceremony following the match. “It’s important to stay in contact with our alumni and hopefully create an even bigger group every year.”

Unfortunately, the former wrestlers didn’t get to see a rousing Cougar victory. Short-handed due to the absence of Jose and Jovani Lopez, who had a family obligation, Niwot dropped nine of the 11 competitive matches, falling 53-18 to the Cardinals.

“We’re wrestling teams with a lot more experience than we have, and it shows at times,” Matthews said after his team’s third Northern League loss of the season. “Basically what they’re doing right now, for lack of a better term, is drinking out of a fire hose.”

Sophomore Max Pecherzewski (113) posted the second varsity victory of his career with an 11-9 win over Elizabeth’s Andrew Kramer, while senior Brandon Barton (138) beat Brewer Winkle. Niwot also picked up forfeit wins in the 132-pound and 195-pound weight classes.

Among the alumni was Garin Daum, ’93, son of legendary Niwot wrestling coach Gary Daum and Niwot’s last state wrestling champ until Tommy Stager won the a title last year. Daum was also on hand the following day for the sixth annual Gary Daum Memorial Invitational, which was rechristened from the Boulder Valley Invite in 2013 after the death of Coach Daum, who helmed the Niwot wrestling program from 1977 to 2005.

Being in their home gym was no advantage for the Cougars, who scored 42.5 points on their way to a 15th place finish out of 18 teams. Barton improved to 14-7 on the season, and picked up 17 team points when he took third overall at 138 pounds, as did Daniel Torres at 195. Elsewhere, senior Nathan Hemenway (170 pounds) posted wins in two consolation matches before being pinned by Cade Burton in the semifinal.

The Invite capped off a busy week for the Cougars, who opened the weekend with a 42-42 tie against Northridge on Jan. 4. Hemenway and Matt Bitterman picked up wins for Niwot, while another five wrestlers benefited from forfeits.

The Cougars will be back on the mat for a dual against Centaurus on Jan. 11, then will join more than 30 other teams for the Frederick Warrior Invite on Jan. 13 at Frederick High School.

(1/4) Niwot 42, Northridge 42

106—Max Miller, North pinned Max Pecherzewski ,1:06; 113—Andy Greve won by forfeit; 120—Wyatt Carpenter, North pinned Johnny Ramirez,1:00; 126—Matt Bitterman pinned Devin Lunsford, North, 4:00; 132—Damian Gallegos, North pinned Liam Angel, 1:54; 138—Brandon Barton won by forfeit; 145—David Koon won by forfeit; 152—Keith Hemmenway won by forfeit; 160—Cort Cunningham, North pinned Jonathan Colon, 1:06; 170 Nathan Hemenway pinned Aaron Kness, North, 2:59; 182—Braxton Schreiner, North pinned Jake Colvin, 1:45; 170 Exhibition—Israel Campa, North, pinned Julian Molina, 0:00; 195—Daniel Torres won by forfeit; 220 Kade Aragon, North won by forfeit; 285—Antonio Medaleno, North won by forfeit

(1/5) Elizabeth 53, Niwot 18

Jocelyn Rowley

Senior Brandon Barton beat Elizabeth's Brewer Winkle 10-6 on Jan. 5.

285—DeAndre Haines, EHS won by forfeit; 106—Max Pecherzewski dec. Andrew Kramer, EHS, 11-9; 113—Kris Kramer, EHS pinned Andy Greve, 2:28; 120—Maddox Brooks, EHS by technical fall Johnny Ramirez,18-3 5:27; 126—William Erzen, EHS pinned Matt Bitterman, 4:36; 132—Liam Angel won by forfeit; 138—Brandon Barton dec. Brewer Winkle, EHS, 10-6; 145—Spencer Winkle, EHS pinned David Koon,1:32; 152—Ryver Gaudreault, EHS pinned Keith Hemmenway, 0:46; 160—Craig Burke, EHS pinned Jonathan Colon, 0:44; 170—Abram Leonard, EHS pinned Nathan Hemenway, 2:22; 182—Cole Morse, EHS pinned Jake Colvin, 3:23; 195—Daniel Torres won by forfeit; 220 —double forfeit;

1/6 Gary Daum Invitational, Niwot HS

Team scores —Lewis-Palmer 191, Northglenn 182, Fort Morgan 180, Platte Valley 161, Skyline 117, Elizabeth 101, Frederick 95, Lyons 85.5, Erie 78, Fairview 75, Northridge 70, Silver Creek 65, Longmont 62, Holy Family 46.5, Niwot 42.5, Boulder 39, Holyoke 36.5, Monarch 14

3rd-place matches

138 — Brandon Barton pinned Jesus Trejo, Holyoke, 2:01; 195 — Daniel Torres won by forfeit over Giovanni Benedetto, Lewis-Palmer.


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