Gritty grapplers put up fight |

Gritty grapplers put up fight

Summit Daily/Mark Fox

FARMER’S KORNER – Devon Emerson took a knee at the corner of the mat. After two periods, he led 4-0 over his heavier foe from Glenwood Springs.

But he was thinking more about losing – as in losing all the food he had in his stomach.

And as Emerson leaned over the bucket, he kept shaking his head: No. It didn’t matter how he felt, he was finishing.

His coaches backed off, the team’s trainer backed off, and Emerson went back out to the mat.

Visibly tired, Emerson fought through the final 2-minute stretch and, after nearly getting pinned with 30 seconds left, hung on for the win.

“It was hard. That kid’s hard,” Emerson said.

Oh, and the win didn’t even count.

Emerson was wrestling in an exhibition match after the end of the Tigers’ meet Thursday at home against Glenwood Springs. This was after he’d already won in his weight class (his 17th win on the year to go with just three losses), but it demonstrated exactly what the Summit grappling squad seems to have in spades: heart.

The Tigers lost decisively in the meet 66-18, but there wasn’t a single match Summit had that didn’t push the opponent to the limit.

“They wrestled hard. It was just some minor mistakes,” head coach Pete Baker said. “They have a hard time getting off their backs.”

Summit’s three wins came from Emerson at 119 lbs., Stetson Fowler at 152 and Jesus Casilla at 285.

And the Tigers had a handful of near misses.

“Glenwood has a stacked team. They probably have 50 people on their roster, we have 13,” Baker said. “They only bring the best guys they have, we have to put in who we have. It was good for the kids to see where they stand against a team where they have to wrestle for their spots.”

Both Emerson and Fowler showed they stand pretty well with whomever they face.

Emerson won his actual match on a pin a little more than a minute into the first period.

Fowler, who’s lost just once the entire season, earned a pin with just 38 seconds left in the first.

A scary moment came later in the evening, though, when Fowler bumped up a weight class to wrestle an exhibition match. The senior tweaked his elbow and couldn’t continue. The extent of the injury is unknown, but Baker seemed upbeat about the talented Tigers’ recovery.

In other matches, Summit’s Javier Pineda narrowly lost on points in the 189 weight class, and Casilla took his win by a pin in the final minute of the match.

The Tigers are right back on the mats Saturday, when they travel to an invitational tournament in Leadville at 9 a.m.

“The kids are really coming on compared to early in the year,” Baker said. “They actually look like wrestlers. They aren’t just out their with their heads in the clouds. They’re wrestling.”

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