Home cooking spurs Cowboys’ big weekend
Canned food for admission at Thursday’s dual vs. Cedaredge
Times Staff Writer
Originally published 2013-01-17
GHS Wrestling — Cody Willis is the type of guy opponents don’t want to go three rounds with.
After racking up a record of 5-1 over the weekend on his home mat — where he won the 145 pound “B” bracket at Saturday’s Duster Duals Showdown — the Gunnison High (GHS) junior didn’t use Monday’s practice to hold any victory parties or recovery sessions.
Instead, he doubled-up during certain parts of his work out.
It’s that type of “extra mile” attitude that GHS coach Matt Harris believes was reflected in Willis’ results from this past weekend.
“He’s just a hard working, selfless kid,” said Harris. “He always does a great job of doing what we as coaches ask him to do and is willing to put in the extra work.”
Willis believes his success had more to do with wrestling in front of a home crowd for three duals on Friday evening and Saturday’s individual tournament.
“Each match you could build more momentum and the home crowd gave you that feeling,” said Willis, who improved to 12-12 on the season. “The three duals on Friday really helped us get our mind-set for the next day.”
What really spurred the Cowboys’ momentum heading into Saturday’s showdown was picking up two team victories on Friday night. With just six wrestlers filling weight classes, GHS triumphed over Colorado Springs Christian and Mountain Valley.
Valor Christian recorded three wins in five matches to pull out a win in the Cowboys’ only other dual of the night.
Sophomore Jack Murphy was the lone GHS wrestler to pick up three wins on Friday without the benefit of a forfeit. Two more wins on Saturday improved Murphy to 9-2 on the season.
“It’s hard to come by wins in duals, so it felt really good to help the team win,” said Murphy, who just made the jump from the 138 to the 145 pound division. “We have a lot of tough kids on our team this year.”
When Saturday morning rolled around, Willis was primed to take his first bracket of the season. A 4-1 decision over Valor Christian’s Will Sweeny in the first match gave him all the confidence he would need to pick up three more wins by fall.
“I wasn’t too winded, so it gave me confidence for the next three matches,” said Willis. “I knew I could beat anyone out if we ever made it to the third (period).”
Justin O’Dell also played the role of bracket buster, at 106 pounds, during the showdown. The sophomore recorded three pins and one major decision on Saturday to improve to 6-0 on the weekend and 21-5 for the season.
“Justin had a lot of takedowns and was doing well on his feet,” said Harris. “As a staff we were proud of how he was really starting to turn another corner.”
Freshman Zach O’Dell picked up two wins by pin on Friday before going 2-2 during Saturday’s showdown at 126 pounds. Murphy also went 2-2 in the tourney, while junior Ty Reed went 3-2 on the weekend.
Freshman Colten Didericksen was the only other Cowboy to claim a victory at home. He found his 13th win of the season in a decision over Colorado Springs Christian’s Titus Hocking during dual action on Friday.
Willis hopes that the momentum from this past weekend will carry over to the Cowboys’ Western Slope League dual with Cedaredge tonight, Jan. 17. The team will be holding a food drive for the Gunnison Food Pantry at the dual, offering free admission for anyone who donates canned goods.
“We know what it’s like to have wins at home and hopefully that helps going into the Cedaredge dual,” said Willis.
GHS will travel to the Florence Tournament on Saturday, which Harris says will be a good preview of what to expect at the state level.
“Right now I just want to see what shakes out for us after this past weekend,” said Harris. “This coming weekend will give us an idea for where we need to go from here.”
Tonight’s dual in the GHS gymnasium begins at 6 p.m.
(Matt Smith can be contacted at 970.641.1414 or email@example.com)