Almost a full house of Brighton wrestlers earn state berths

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Jonathan Maness

Sports Correspondent

BROOMFIELD – The Brighton Bulldogs took the class 5A Region 2 wrestling tournament by storm this weekend, and that dominance will be on full display Thursday, Feb. 16, at the Pepsi Center for the Class 5A state wrestling tournament. 

The Bulldogs, which entered the week third in the state, took home four, first-place finishes and placed in 12 of the 14 respective weight classes to win the regional tournament.

Taking first for the Bulldogs were senior Johnny Sanchez (106 pounds), junior Jarron Martinez (113), senior Dessmund Prospero (120) and senior Tanner Aitken (285). 

Brighton finished with 271 points, edging Legacy which finished second with 207.5 points. 

“We have a great team this year,” said Sanchez, who topped Ricky Nava 12-5 in the title match. “We are excited about (state), and I think we will have a strong showing.” 

Bryson Krohn (132), Orlando Gallegos (138), Nathan Baca (152), Tarron Adams (170) and Ian Helwick (220) all took second for Brighton, while G’Avonti Patton (126), Jonas Lutz (145) and Jeremiah Ellerd (160) all took third. 

Sanchez pinned two of his opponents and edged Northglenn’s Ricky Nava 12-5 in the title match. Martinez topped Cherry Creek’s Bo Cole 8-1 to earn his title, while Prospero beat Overland’s Isaiah Bradley 10-5 to seal his title. Aitken sealed the team title by beating Standley Lake’s Hayden Still 7-1 take first in his respective weight. Krohn, Gallegos, Baca and Helwick each lost in the title match in their respective weight classes after a strong showing in the regional tournament. 

The Bulldogs are seeking their eight state title, and their first since 1994, but Sanchez feels this could be the year. 

“We have a lot of great wrestlers, and are solid from top to bottom,” Sanchez said. “It’s a close team and we are always pushing each other. I’m excited to see how hard work will pay off.” 

Aitken, Prospero and Sanchez will be the top-seeded Bulldogs at state. Each will be the No. 3 seed in their respective weight class, while Martinez will be the 4th-seed. 

The state tournament kicks off Thursday, and the title matches will take place Saturday night.