Demon Wrestling Ends Season with Regional Winners

3/25/2021

When wrestlers hit the mat for a match, it's one against one. But two Demon wrestlers say they never would have made it to the state championship finals had it not been for the efforts of their teammates and coaches.

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When wrestlers hit the mats for a match

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it's just one athlete

pitted against the other.

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But the two Demon wrestlers

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who qualified for this

year's state tournament

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say they couldn't have done it

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without the help of their

teammates and coaches.

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Seniors Jake Fenberg

and Samantha Velasquez

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qualified to compete in

the State wrestling finals

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in Pueblo on March 13th.

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And while both had disappointing finishes

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their wrestling careers were anything but.

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Velasquez was the first ever Demon

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to compete in the first ever

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Colorado High School Activities

Association sanctioned

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girls wrestling tournament,

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where she finished in fifth place.

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But before this year, she

wrestled with the boys.

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I have five older brothers

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and they wrestled the year before me.

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And I was just kind of like,

I want to wrestle, mom.

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And she was like, no, you

don't need to wrestle.

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So then she's like, well, wait a year

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and if you still want to do it, you can.

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I started about second grade

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and I just kind of like fell

in love with it ever since.

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With her many years of experience,

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Velasquez qualified three times

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for the state tournament

winning one first place

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and another second place

spot on the podium.

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So Samantha has understood the sport

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and been doing it for a really long time.

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And so I think as a coach

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what I wanted to do in

coaching her was not reshape

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or reform anything that she does,

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but try and compliment

all of the strengths

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that she already had.

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And just work on little tiny, fine things

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that the only difference is

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as I grew up in a different place.

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And so my perspective as a coach

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is the thing that's valuable.

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She's a very, very solid wrestler

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who understands the sport well.

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There's actually quite a

bit of mental to wrestling

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because like I've lost the

match just from thinking

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about who I'm wrestling before.

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And like, it can happen

to anyone I guess like,

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if you think you're going to

lose the match, then you are.

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But if you go in it with a

bias action or bias mindset

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then you'll be able to

either win your match

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or learn from what that match taught you.

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Both Velasquez and Fenberg have been part

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of a growing program that has

not only expanded in numbers,

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but in team spirit from both

players and volunteer coaches

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under the leadership of

head coach, Robert Finiseth.

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Our team camaraderie is

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a whole different level than

it was when I was a freshman.

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It's amazing we have

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almost 40 people out on the wrestling mat.

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Whereas when I was a

freshman, we only had eight.

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And also now that the season's done

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for everybody on the team

but me and Sammy Vasquez.

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There's my two practice

partners are still coming in

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even though they're supposed to be done.

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And they'll drilling with

me every day until State

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which is really awesome with them.

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And I'm really grateful to them.

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This team has been so supported

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by the group of coaches

that have come together.

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We've got six or seven coaches now

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from various schools in their area.

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Many of them, all of them were wrestlers

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had various experiences.

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Some of us are lightweight,

some of us are bigger guys

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and each of these

coaches has come together

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bringing different aspects

or talents to the team.

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None of us could have done

it independently very well.

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That's been really cool.

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Jake Fenberg's dad and

coach, Moss Fenberg,

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introduced his son to wrestling

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when Jake was in the fourth grade.

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A wrestler himself, Dr. Fenberg

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says he enjoyed the

physicality of the sport

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and spending time with

his son over the years.

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Jake admits he didn't always appreciate

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the training that was required

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or that wrestlers didn't

always have that cool factor

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that other athletes enjoyed.

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But Jake says his perseverance,

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and his father's support

were well worth the effort

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because the lessons he

learned will stay with him

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for the rest of his life.

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Well, it's a lot of training and,

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but as I've been wrestling

since I was in fourth grade

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and I was always getting

better, but these last two years

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I really started to understand

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like why these moves are working

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and how like all this

training is coming together

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to build me up and make me stronger.

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And I mean, now it's like shaped who I am.

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It's a huge part of me is wrestling.

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And my dad's the one that got

me there and kept me going.

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Thanks for watching this

edition of the Demon Spotlight.

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I'm Wendy Graham Settle.

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