Every time Joseph Brody walks onto the mat, he’s at a disadvantage. That’s not too difficult, considering the Evergreen freshman weighs all of 95 pounds soaking wet and is wrestling 106-pounders.
And though Brody admits that he needs to be more aggressive, it’s his technique that first and foremost has to be flawless to combat his larger opponents.
“I harp on those guys that you’re smaller, you can’t muscle (them). You’ve got to be perfect with your technique. If you’re sloppy with your technique, they’re going to pound you,” Evergreen head coach Lane Williams said.
Well, Brody’s technique wasn’t perfect — he went 0-3 at the Evergreen Invitational on Jan. 18 at Evergreen High School — but the luck of the draw was in his favor. He, along with 113-pounder Lane Hanson, were the lone Cougars to place in the 12-team field.
Brody took sixth place in a seven-wrestler bracket at 106 pounds, while Hanson took fifth at 113. Evergreen finished last in the 12-team field, with 19.5 points. Fossil Ridge won with 186.5 points, followed by Steamboat Springs with 176.5 and Lincoln with 160.5. Conifer placed sixth with 105, while Platte Canyon was 11th with 47 points.
All three of Brody’s defeats were first-minute pinfalls, but the experience was invaluable.
“Today, I’m hoping to gain experience with what I need to work on and what I’ve kind of mastered,” said Brody, who was pinned by Conifer’s Sam Stevenson in 43 seconds of the fifth-place match.
The day wasn’t any picnic in the park for Hanson, either. Still, Hanson (12-7) reached the semifinals before bouncing into the consolation draw. He went 2-2 on the day, finishing with a 19-3 tech-fall victory over Ridgeview Academy’s Jose Tapia. It was his second win in as many matches against Tapia in the tournament, but fifth place was far from what Hanson was shooting for.
“It’s been a really tough day. I wish I could be in a higher place. First and second is what I really wanted,” Hanson said. “(But) every match that I lose, I learn something. That’s good.”
One thing the Evergreen junior can see is that the stiff competition is preparing him for regionals and hopefully state. Williams sees that as well.
“He’s got some tougher guys here today. He’s wrestling pretty good. He’s just making little mistakes,” Williams said. “We’ve got things to build on, improve on and get better. Hopefully, he’ll get into state. He’s got a fairly winnable region.”
Some of those things to work on, Williams said, include better positioning when he’s wrestling off the bottom.
“It’s hard to find anybody beating him on his feet right now. He’s taking everybody down. It’s just when he gets taken down or reversed, that’s when he freezes, and guys are piling on quick near-falls,” Williams said.
Evergreen’s only other victories came at 132 pounds, where Tim Farver went 2-2. He scored wins over a pair of Lincoln wrestlers in the consolation draw — Juaquin Cordova and Ivan Serrato. The latter was via injury default. In all, the Cougars had eight wrestlers in the invitational.
Contact Michael Hicks at firstname.lastname@example.org or 303-933-2233, ext. 15.