JERRY McBRIDE/Durango Herald
IGNACIO – The Wolverines turned to a reliable, trusted friend Friday night.
The Bayfield High School wrestling team also turned up the offense with an emphatic 52-6 dual win over host Ignacio.
“I told the guys I wanted to see the same level of intensity we had at Durango (on Thursday night),” Bayfield head coach Todd McMenimen said. “And we started right from the beginning with that intensity.”
The Wolverines won seven of the eight contested matches and picked up two more forfeit wins in the dual staged at the Sun Ute Community Center, which will serve as the host site for today’s Butch Melton Invitational.
“Yeah, that was a throwback to Stinson,” McMenimen said after the Wolverines continuously exploited the “tilt” move popularized by former head coach Herb Stinson, who retired after last season.
“That tilt was definitely the go-to move for the last 12 years here in Bayfield. These guys know how to run it,” McMenimen said after the Wolverines used the tilt to score near-fall points and set up pinfalls.
“We’ve got a bunch who really believe in it; we’re still carrying that over,” McMenimen said.
Bayfield’s Joe Zink, at 145 pounds, started the dual with a tilt exhibition against Ignacio’s Miguel Perez.
Zink, who lost a tough decision at Durango, bounced back with a quick 12-1 lead in the first period – with eight points coming on tilt points.
Another takedown and two more tilt points, and Zink opened the evening with a 16-1 technical win over Perez.
“I was eager (to get back on the mat) because I was kind of fired up after (Thursday night),” Zink said of his trend-setting victory.
“I like being out on the mat ... it was good to release some energy,” said Zink, who had his first takedown within 10 seconds of the first whistle.
“We have fun ... when we wrestle with Ignacio. It was a fun dual,” said Zink, son of Faith and Pat Zink.
Teammate Tyler Beebe also employed the tilt effectively, leading 8-2 before pinning Taylor Smith of Ignacio in their 120-pound match.
Colter McMenimen, Bayfield’s 126-pounder, racked up seven tilt points and an 11-0 lead before pinning Kyle Bailey.
Allec Rodriguez, who had the fastest takedown of the dual (7 seconds), piled up tilt points in masse, eventually scoring an 18-2 technical win over Ignacio’s Trevor Sivers at 132 pounds.
The Wolverines also collected a first-period pin by heavyweight Matt Eckstein, the No. 4-ranked wrestler in Class 3A by coloradopreps.com. Eckstein pinned Josh Gallegos of Ignacio in 1 minute, 33 seconds of their match.
Bayfield also won a close match at 195 pounds when Dom Brittain scored a 7-3 decision over Javen Webb.
And Drake Rhodes of the Wolverines wrapped up Bayfield’s win with a 7-0 decision over Ike Peńa of Ignacio, helped by two key tilt points.
Ignacio’s lone victory of the dual came from 160-pounder Blaine Mickey, who didn’t even expect a match Friday night.
“I came here not expecting a match. So, when I got one, I was really excited,” said Mickey, son of Jeremy and Tracy Mickey.
“I decided I wanted to shoot off the (first) whistle and get the guy down,” Mickey said.
Mickey scored an ultra-quick takedown of James Young of Bayfield, turning it into a pin in 23 seconds – the quickest match of the night.
“Right as I moved, he moved over a little bit, and I was able to take a shot,” said Mickey, who added that he’s excited about today’s Butch Melton Invitational, which will feature teams from the Four Corners and New Mexico.
“I’m hoping I can get in that first-place match. It’s kind of been eluding me lately,” Mickey said.
The Wolverines, too, are looking forward to the 11-team Butch Melton tournament at the Sun Ute Community Center.
“I’m excited ... this will be my last Butch Melton,” Zink said. “So, we’ll see how I do.”