DENVER – As he walked off the mat and headed to the back tunnel Saturday night at Pepsi Center, Jacob Greenwood stopped to embrace his teammate and younger brother, Job.
Jacob had just put the finishing touches on his third consecutive Class 5A state championship, but his first thought was for his brother, who had come up just short in his own finals match just moments earlier.
Jacob pulled his brother toward him and told Job that he was proud of him, and that the victory was for him.
“We’ll get it,” said Jacob, who downed Coronado’s K.J. Kearns by a 16-5 major decision at 138 pounds. “We’ll get the double.”
Both of the Greenwoods will get that opportunity next year. Job is only a sophomore, and Jacob will be back to pursue a fourth consecutive 5A title.
“It’s all part of the plan,” he said. “I’ve had this goal that I’ve been chasing for a long time.”
It was a repeat kind of night for the 5A classification at Pepsi Center. Pomona secured its second consecutive team title with 192.5 points, 51 points ahead of second-place Grand Junction.
In addition to Greenwood, six wrestlers successfully defended titles won last February: Castle View’s Malik Heinselman (106 pounds), Pomona’s Theorius Robison (132), Grand Junction’s Josiah Rider (145), Lakewood’s Gabriel Dinette (152), Mountain Vista’s Trent Schultz (195) and Ponderosa’s Cohl Schultz (220).
Robison and Cohl Schultz have each claimed titles in their first two years at state. The Ponderosa sophomore said it was even sweeter that older brother Trent, a senior, also finished on top.
“He’s the one that started it for me,” said Cohl, who posted a 7-0 decision in a rematch with Cherokee Trail’s Max Gonzales that was heated at times. “We’ve been wrestling forever, and that’s what brought us closer. It’s cool getting to both be at the top in the state.”
Greenwood was selected as the 5A Outstanding Wrestler after winning his third championship. The junior finished the season 31-3, but admitted this tournament tested him in new ways.
“This tournament I definitely felt the pressure a little more,” Jacob said. “I’ve been sick and been a little nervous. I know I haven’t been 100 percent. There was a little more pressure this year.”
He already had a comfortable lead in the third period of the finals, but added five more points after Kearns’ aggressiveness worked against him late in the match.
“I knew there was going to be something a little crazy coming at me,” Jacob said. “I was ready for it.”
Job Greenwood dropped a 3-2 decision to Arvada West senior Cody Fatzinger, who earned his first championship after placing third, second and third in his first three seasons.
Greenwood, who placed fourth a year ago, tried to score a late takedown but Fatzinger was able to avoid him in the closing seconds.
“It’s still a long way from first,” Job said. “I have a lot more to work on and just keep getting better every year – that’s the goal.”
Heinselman got the action started at 106 pounds with a wild ride that ended in a 23-9 major decision. The Castle View junior nearly had a technical fall in the second period, but Grand Junction freshman Dawson Collins caught Heinselman for a takedown and back points.
“I was very shocked,” said Heinselman, who finished the year undefeated with a 44-0 mark. “I was like ‘dang, he’s so strong’ when I was on my back. But I fought through it.”
Castle View placed fifth in the team standings. Fellow junior Tate Samuelson won his first title at 170 pounds with a 4-1 decision to also finish 44-0.
Pomona’s Justin Pacheco (113), Colton Yapoujian (120), Robison and Jason Romero (160) claimed titles to help the Panthers finish atop the team standings. Other winners included Coronado’s Jimmy Weaver at 182 pounds and Grandview’s Gabriel Baumgartner at 285.