Demon Wrestling Ends Season with Regional Winners

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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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