Red Devils upend second-ranked Green River

Red Devil 182-pound senior Clay Lester right before he turned and stuck Thomas Harvey of Green River at the 1:08 mark of the first period. All four Red Devil seniors who wrestled on “Senior Night,” including Isaac Saavedra at 126 pounds, Rylie Griggs at 170 pounds and Pablo Escalante at 195 pounds, won their respective matches in front of the hometown crowd on Jan. 30. (HERALD PHOTO/Mark Madia)

EVANSTON — Red Devil wrestling closed out the home season in style with a 42-34 win over the second-ranked Green River Wolves on Wednesday evening, Jan. 30. Wednesday’s “Senior Night” represented just the second and final time the Red Devil grapplers have had the opportunity to compete in front of the hometown crowd, with the first dating back to the season-opening “EI” on Dec. 7-8.

Five seniors were honored with their parents prior to the start of the varsity matches and the four who wrestled all won their matches to lead the team to victory.

The results for the dual are as follows with Red Devil wrestlers listed first:

113 pounds — Jaxin Moore lost by major decision, 11-3, to Dom Martinez.

120 pounds — Logen Elsen lost by fall to Kade Flores.

126 pounds — Isaac Saavedra won by decision, 7-5, over Kade Knezovich.

132 pounds — Kendall Cummings won by fall over Cmar Nunn.

138 pounds — Jordan Schneider lost by fall to Jacob Weipert.

145 pounds — Tyler Stokes lost by fall to Justin Flores.

152 pounds — Bryson Davis lost by fall to Garrett Harris.

160 pounds — Ridgen Wagstaff won by fall over Max Orr.

170 pounds — Rylie Griggs won by decision, 10-9, over Jonty Leninger.

182 pounds — Clay Lester won by fall over Thomas Harvey.

195 pounds — Pablo Escalante won by fall over Sage Wilde.

220 pounds — Payt Burton won by forfeit. 

285 pounds — Eric Orozco won by forfeit.

106 pounds — Alix Aragon lost by fall to Clayson Mele.

Red Devil wrestling head coach Larry Wagstaff was pleased with the effort demonstrated by his varsity squad. After the junior varsity lost to Green River, 20-12, Wagstaff met with his varsity team before the Senior Night festivities and varsity matches began.

“I thought our J.V. kids had wrestled kind of flat so I got together with our varsity and told them it was time to step it up and get going. They came out and got after it, and we came away with a victory over the Wolves,” Wagstaff told the Herald.

“Our lineup is still quite young and I guess the good thing is all four seniors got a win,” the coach added, then jokingly stated, “The only trouble is you need 14 of them, probably, but we have only four. I’m proud of our guys,” Wagstaff said.

The coach reported that a team comprised of mostly younger wrestlers and a couple of upperclassmen who need some more mat time will compete in Cokeville in the Bridgerland tournament this Friday, and the following day on Saturday, Feb. 2, the full-complement varsity squad will compete in the conference duals in Rock Springs. Evanston will wrestle top-ranked Kelly Walsh, sixth-ranked Natrona County and Laramie in the conference duals. 

Following the duals in the Rocket City, Evanston will travel to Afton on Thursday, Feb. 7, to square off against the top-ranked team in Class 3A in the Star Valley Braves, and then it’s back to Rock Springs for regionals on Feb. 15-16, with state to follow, for those who qualify at regionals, on Feb. 22-23, in Caper.

The week six rankings are out and Kelly Walsh is still ranked first, with no changes in the top-6; Green River, Thunder Basin, Rock Springs, Cheyenne East and Natrona County round out the top-ranked teams in Class 4A.

As far as individual ranked wrestlers, there have been some shifts with most Red Devils rising in the rankings.

Brandon VanGieson is fifth at 106 pounds; Jaxin Moore is seventh at 113 pounds; Logan Elsen is sixth at 120 pounds; Isaac Saavedra is sixth at 126 pounds; Kendall Cummings is sixth at 132 pounds; Rylie Griggs is sixth at 170 pounds and Pablo Escalante is the new top-ranked wrestler in Class 4A at 195 pounds.

The team will have the season awards banquet on Feb. 27.

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