November 17, 2013

Six Bears place first at Old Chicago Open



GREELEY – Northern Colorado's annual Old Chicago Open usually allows the Bears to have success and build motivation in the early part of the season, and Saturday was no exception.

Six weight classes were won by Northern Colorado, and the Most Outstanding Wrestler award also went to a Bear: the 157-pound champion Mitchell Polkowske (LaJara, Colo.), who went 4-0 with two pins, a technical fall and a decision.

"I thought we wrestled well," head coach Ben Cherrington said. "I definitely expect us to have this kind of showing, and that's why this is a fun weekend for us. The guys come in here, and they're excited because they know they're going to have some success and build some confidence."

Trey Andrews (Safford, Ariz.) remained undefeated on the season by going 5-0 en route to the 125-pound championship.

"You have to go out and expect to get your hand raised at the end of the match no matter who you wrestle, and I would say Trey is as good at that as anybody I've seen," Cherrington said. "He truly has fun. He doesn't treat wrestling like a job. He's constantly singing and making jokes in practice, and when you have fun like that, you're going to win a lot of matches."

Henry Chirino (Brandon, Fla.) had four wins to be the heavyweight winner and Brian Macchione (Granby, Colo.) also had four wins, including one pin, to place first in the 197 class.

Both transfers from Clackamas Community College — Trent Noon (Oakdale, Calif.) and Beau Roberts (Boise, Idaho) — placed first at their weights of 184 pounds and 149 pounds, respectively. Noon battled teammate Nick Bayer (Maple Valley, Wash.) to a 4-3 decision in the 184-pound final, and Roberts overcame his slow start to the season by recording a decision, two pins and two major decisions.

"Today was a good day for Beau, and I was hoping he'd have a successful day and get some confidence back," Cherrington said. "His weight's been a bit of an issue, but I think we now have that under control, and I think he sees he can wrestle for seven minutes under these conditions."

Cole Briegel (Burlington, Colo.) finished third in the 184-pound bracket, while Aaron Cisneros (Edgewater, Colo.) and Chase Crabtree (St. Paris, Ohio) finished fourth at 133 pounds and 125 pounds, respectively.

"Chase comes from the best high school wrestling program in the entire country, so he's got a great foundation, and he's very coachable," Cherrington said. "Aaron has a lot to learn. He's very green, so who knows where his ceiling is at, and Briegle just chips away. He gets better in small increments, and that's what you gotta do."

The Bears are back in action at 2 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 24 at Butler-Hancock Sports Pavilion against Colorado Mesa.