Denver Appreciative. Hayden High School senior Ryan Domson said that’s the takeaway emotion from the state wrestling tournament that wrapped up Saturday.
It wasn’t what he’d dreamed when he entered the tournament with a head full of steam and one of the most compelling stories in the 900-wrestler field. But it also wasn’t what he feared when he initially was told last summer that a knee injury had eliminated any chance of his participation in the event.
He ended up fourth in the Class 2A 182-pound bracket, winning once Saturday morning before losing in the consolation finals to Terrell Stafford, of Baca County, oddly the exact sequence against the exact final opponent that led Domson to fourth place last year.
“I’m a little let down, but there’s not much I can do about it,” he said. “I’m appreciative of the opportunity.”
Wrestling Stafford was in Domson’s plans all along, only he’d hoped to see him in the finals. The Baca County senior entered as the bracket’s favorite, but he was disqualified from his semifinal match when he threw and injured his opponent.
Stafford took his vengeance Saturday with a dominating performance to lock up third place.
“He was fast, and it was hard to control him,” Domson said. “It was hard to get any grip on him at all.”
Stafford took down Domson seemingly at will, notching two points at a time until Domson was left to hunt for a miracle pin.
It didn’t come, but Domson said that didn’t ruin his weekend or tarnish was he did accomplish in his senior season, which didn’t even last a month.
“The footwork and just being comfortable out there, that wasn’t there. That stuff usually comes during the season, but he didn’t have time to get there this year,” Hayden coach Chad Jones said. “Ryan can’t be ashamed. There’s no way he could have given anything more.”
Domson relished in a morning victory against Paonia senior Morgan Reider. The pair have met frequently throughout the years, and Domson has gotten the best of that action. He showed why again Saturday, rebounding from a three-point hole. He tallied two big-point near falls and finished with a 10-4 win.
That win helped, but Domson said it was only part of a weekend that he can leave with no regrets.
“I was disappointed by some of the facts but not about how I wrestled,” he said. “I’m happy I got to wrestle, to come down here.”
To reach Joel Reichenberger, call 970-871-4253 or email jreichenberger@SteamboatToday.com