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The Elizabeth wrestling team won the key matches needed to post a 41-40 win in a Jan. 17 dual match against Woodland Park.
A sizable crowd of family, friends and classmates was on hand for the match. The walls of the Elizabeth gymnasium echoed with the cheers of fans, the advice of coaches and parents as well as the music from the pep band.
The Cardinals established an early lead but Woodland Park scored wins in key matches to make the final score close.
After the match, Elizabeth Coach Robert Chavez said his team is wrestling well.
“This is my first year as head coach. The kids are coming on strong as they adopt the new style,” he said. “We are a lot more aggressive and doing well so far this season.”
He said it is a young team, as he has 25 wrestlers on the roster and only three of them are seniors with a number of freshmen. He added that despite the fact the team is young the Cardinals are competitive.
He said, early in the season, the middle weights were the strength of the team but now the strength extends to just about all the weight classes.
During the match, there was applause and cheers when Cardinals 195-pounder Azadian Romero pinned Woodland Park's Matthew Michael.
“I took up wrestling when I was in the seventh grade in Denver,” Romero said after the match. “I was making some bad decisions and a wrestling coach told me to join the team and work out my anger on the mat. I decided to do it and I fell in love with the sport after my first practice.”
He said he loves the sport because it is a one-on-one competition and he really like when he is able to dominate the other wrestler.
He said he also plays nose guard on the Cardinals football team and wrestling helps him in that sport too.
“Wrestling helps me be more agile and how to better use my hands and leverage against an opponent,” Romero said. “It also helps me be a better tackler because a leg pickup in wrestling is basically tackling.”
The junior said wrestling is his favorite sport and he wrestles in the summer to get stronger and improve his mat techniques.
“I had a good summer last year I qualified for Team Colorado that went to nationals, where the Colorado Cadets competed in freestyle and Greco-Roman wrestling,” he said. “I want to continue to work to be a better wrestler because I hope to wrestle in college and further my education so he can earn a degree and teach history.”
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