Friday, February 17, 2006
On Friday night, Coy Letlow and Tim Taylor were lying on their backs within several feet of each other, taking deep breaths with shirts over their heads. Within five minutes, the two Hayden wrestlers ended their season at the Colorado State Wrestling Championships.
Coach Ty Zabel came over to encourage both.
"You guys wrestled with your hearts," Zabel said. "Tim, you got here as a senior, that's something to be proud of and to not hang your head about. Coy you're a freshman."
This all came after the Tigers' weaknesses were exposed Friday.
As a freshman, Letlow didn't have the patience he needed in his match against Baca County's Shawn Cogburn. Letlow trailed 1-2 after the second period, but in the third period, he lost some composure. He rolled into near-fall points 20 seconds into the third period. Then Cogburn put him in a cradle 20 seconds later.
Letlow was able to earn a reversal with 48 seconds left in the match, but he gave up his own reversal and more back points as the match ended. He lost, 12-3.
"Coy will be back, and it will be a whole different story next year," Zabel said. "The stuff that worked in middle school doesn't work anymore. He knows what he has to work on."
Taylor doesn't have the benefit of a chance to come back. He wrestled at state for the first time as a senior.
Taylor's right knee had a big black brace on it for the tournament. He struggled with the injury all season, wrestling only 15 matches going into the state tournament. In his second-round consolation match against Sangre De Cristo's David Brown, Taylor couldn't base up from the bottom position. Brown turned Taylor to his back three times in the match, and Letlow could only fight his way off the bottom. After losing, 10-0, Taylor slowly straightened out his knee and limped off the mat.
The other Tiger at state, Isaac Haskins, had a shoulder injury that was too easy of a target for opponents. In both matches, the taped shoulder was jarred, twisted and pulled.
In Haskins' second match, Todd Stauffer of Calhan had a 12-0 lead when he locked up on the Hayden senior's shoulder and put him on his back. Haskins was writhing in pain as the official called the technical fall.
How they got there
Letlow pinned Vincent Dupont of Antonito with one minute and 13 seconds left in the second period.
Taylor got up in the second period in his first-round consolation match with a visible limp. He fought through the pain to pin Lyons' Jarred Hirschfield.
"All three of our guys have something to be proud of," Zabel said. "I like our chances with several of our guys to come back next year."