Area wrestling fans filled the seats of the Gordon-Rushville Middle School gym, Thursday, Jan. 17, to watch CSC’s wrestlers take on Colorado Mesa University in the same gym Eagles’ Head Coach Brett Hunter called home during his high school wrestling career.
While the fans were warm and receptive, Colorado Mesa was less so, dealing the Eagles their fifth dual loss of the season with a 22-15 victory.
CSC then dropped to 3-6 after a 34-12 loss to Western Colorado University, in front of another big crowd, this time at home in the Nelson Physical Activity Center, Friday.
Four CSC wrestlers, Rulon Taylor at heavyweight, Wade French at 197-pounds, Chase Clasen at 149-pounds and Brandon Kile at 133-pounds had wins during both duals.
Against Mesa, Jan. 17, the Eagles won half of the 10 bouts, but bonus points from two technical falls and six points surrendered due to a forfeit at 125-pounds were the difference.
Friday, Western Colorado had three pins, including one from top-ranked NCAA DII 174-pound wrestler Brandon Supernaw, senior of Colorado Springs, Colorado, who took down CSC’s Mat Hebel, junior of Erie, Colorado, in the third period.
In addition to the three pins, the Mountaineers earned bonus points from a pair of tech falls.
Despite the Jan. 17 loss, the Eagles succeeded in providing entertainment to the large crowd who gathered for the team’s special event in Rushville. Although his team didn’t get a win, Hunter was pleased with how the event went.
“It was a great atmosphere,” Hunter said. “It was packed. It’s great to see because we used to see that all the time at the high school. It was a great event, it was great to see a lot of people and I’m pleased with everyone showing up.”
Hunter said he thought his wrestlers did well to stay relaxed despite the change in scenery. At least one, Taylor, who won his bout that night, felt extra motivation to get a win.
“It was super cool and I’m really glad that Brett was able to come back and showcase what he’s done since he’s competed,” Taylor said. “I definitely felt that pressure to compete for Brett and for the community because I could tell they care a lot about the program, about the college and about us. They really wanted us to do well and so I wanted to pay them back.”
Following the dual the CSC wrestlers took the time to speak with fans, many of them children, and sign autographs.
Friday’s match was the Eagles’ final home dual of the season.
They’ll travel next to Western Wyoming Community College in Rock Springs, Wyoming, Friday.