Alert: Our February 19 Scholarship Day event has been cancelled due to inclement weather/travel conditions in the region.
Host Apodaca Dual On Friday
The Northwest College wrestling team prevailed against Northeastern Junior College in Sterling, Colorado, last weekend, winning in a tiebreaker.
On Friday at 7 p.m., the Trappers will compete against Western Wyoming in the Apodaca Dual — the team’s only home dual of the season.
NORTHEASTERN JUNIOR COLLEGE DUAL
At the end of Saturday’s dual, both teams had a score of 24. In wrestling, when the score is tied after a dual, a set of criteria is reviewed to determine the winner.
The first criterion is most matches won, the second criterion is the team’s number of pins and the third criterion is whichever team scored the most points during each individual match.
The Trappers won 24-24 by the third criterion, having scored more points.
At 125 pounds, Rocky Ciminera wrestled Collin Metzgar and lost by a 5-2 decision.
“We wanted him to get a match,” head coach Jim Zeigler said of having Ciminera wrestle in place of Nodir Safarov, who’s currently ranked second in the nation.
Zeigler said Ciminera wrestled hard but “needs to improve on the mat.”
At a 133 pounds, Taylor Jefferies won by a 16-10 decision.
“He wrestled well,” Zeigler said.
Jefferies later told his his coach that he felt his wrestling had been fairly one-dimensional. The match appeared to be close in scoring for the first period and half, then transformed, as Jefferies physically took over.
“... I felt it took the toll on the guy,” Zeigler said. “[Jefferies] just physically took over the match and I like the way that he did it and he was aggressive in doing so — he never stopped.”
“He doesn’t think it was a great performance, but I thought it was,” the coach said of Jefferies’ showing.
His match ended up winning the dual for the team, because of the number of takedowns.
Jefferies is currently ranked fifth in the nation.
At 141 pounds, Palmer Schafer was pinned by Sam Eckhart in 2:50.
Powell High School alum Nic Urbach, meanwhile, won by a pin in 22 seconds over Ernest Quintana at 149 pounds.
“Nic [Urbach] getting a fall was big,” Zeigler said, as a pin awards a team six points. Urbach also helped the team tie with Northeastern in the number of pins, forcing the third criterion tie-breaker.
At 157 pounds, Tate Allison won by a 3-1 decision over Deron Solomon.
Logan Sondrup wrestled Justin Anderson at 165 pounds. Zeigler said Sondrup “made some mental errors. He fought and wrestled really hard and that’s one of their [Northeastern’s] better kids.”
Sondrup lost in an 8-7 decision.
“It wasn’t his best match but it was a good effort. I mean, he worked hard at it. They were honest mistakes and I don’t mind mistakes with guys that are wrestling hard,” Zeigler said.
At 184 pounds, Jeffrey Oakes, ranked No. 2 in the nation at 197 pounds, wrestled Jose Rodriguez and pinned him in 6:34.
“He [Oakes] did a good job there,” Zeigler said.
Lisiate Anau, who is also ranked second in the nation, won by forfeit at 285 pounds.
On Friday, Western Wyoming Community College will wrestle at NWC at 7 p.m. for the Apodaca Dual.
“I think that’s pretty significant,” Zeigler said of the competition. “It’s our in-state rivalry.”
The Apodaca Dual is held each year in memory of Brooks Apodaca, a member of the NWC team who died in a 1998 car crash. The current head coach of Western Wyoming’s Mustangs, Art Castillo, was Brooks Apodaca’s teammate and friend.
At Friday’s dual, a member of the Trapper wrestling team will be awarded the Apodaca Award, which is given to a member of the team who exhibits the same qualities that Apodcaca had.
The recipient of the Apodaca Award is determined by work ethic, leadership, community service, academics, respectfulness, reliability, social awareness and spiritual awareness — and it doesn’t always go to the top wrestler on the team.
Both Castillo and Zeigler will hand out this year’s honor.
“... It means more to me and him [Castillo] than anybody, so it’s only appropriate that we’re wrestling them and I like that,” Zeigler said of having the single dual this year. “We’ll have a nice event.”
The coach also noted it’s NWC’s “last and only home dual, so I hope people come out to watch,” he said. “Western’s got a good team.”
Currently, the Trapper wrestlers are ranked fourth and the Mustangs are tied for sixth place in the nation.
Northwest has four nationally ranked wrestlers: Safarov (No. 2 at 125 pounds), Jefferies (No. 5 at 133 pounds), Oakes (No. 2 at 197 pounds) and Anau (No. 2 at 285 pounds).
Western has five nationally ranked grapplers: Kenny Astle (No. 2 at 149 pounds), Tucker Tomilson (No. 7 at 165 pounds), Matt Hebel (No. 3 at 174 pounds), Connor Kirkland (No. 4 at 184 pounds) and Wade French (No. 7 at 197 pounds).