Dan Downs rarely goes down.
The Evergreen wrestler might give up some points and look as if he’s in a spot of trouble, but he’s not the same wrestler he was this time last year.
No, Downs thinks things are looking up with a 9-3 record this season..
“I’m looking to make it to state,” he said. “That’s my goal. Always has been.”
Downs showed off his mental and physical strength Dec. 17 as he won the only match he wrestled as the Cougars swept up in a tri-meet against Front Range neighbors Clear Creek and Platte Canyon.
Evergreen defeated Clear Creek 66-13 and then dropped Platte Canyon 60-21. Both opponents were shorthanded and forfeited several weights.
Downs was one of six Cougars who won via forfeit against Clear Creek, but got a good test in his 130-pound match against Brian Achziger that started the dual against Platte Canyon.
Downs gave up a takedown inside the first minute and gave up two near-fall points to trail 4-0. He notched an escape with 30 seconds left and that, he said, gave him the confidence for the second period.
Working from the bottom, where he is “comfortable,” Downs needed 19 seconds for a reverse and went on to get a pin at the 3:23 mark.
Connor O’Neal and Nick Keitlen were the only Cougars to get pinfall victories in both dual matches.
O’Neal pinned his Clear Creek foe in 1 minutes 6 seconds, and took care of Platte Canyon’s Damon McFayden at the 1:36 mark.
Keitlen needed even less time for his two 160-pound victories. The Evergreen senior pinned Clear Creek’s Cody Thompson at the 1:26 mark and put Platte Canyon’s Trevor Kirby on his back at the 1:07 mark.
The victories, especially Keitlen’s, was what coach Lane Williams was looking for in that the wrestlers were aggressive, focused and loose enough to have fun and be successful.
“I’ve been a little disappointed in our lack of intensity on our feet, but we’re coming along good,” Williams said.
Evergreen’s fastest pin on the night went to heavyweight Josh Karnath, who pinned fellow sophomore Dustin Woodward in 46 seconds.
Ryan Sherman came close to Karnath’s time as he needed 60 seconds to pin Brianna Wagner in their 103-pound match.
Tim Perez also earned a pinfall victory for the Cougars in his 119-pound match when he stuck Zach Riege with a cradle.