Monster Prelims: Best in Colorado vs. Best in the USA
By Bill X. Barron
On Friday, November 2nd, in Denver’s National Western Complex Arena, RMN Events brings you Colorado’s best youth wrestlers matched up one-on-one against their top competition from across the country. Using the same elevated mat as the college all-star matches which follow, this event will highlight those who one day expect to be the collegiate representatives in this setting. Tickets available for $20 at www.rmevents/com/allstarclassic will allow you to watch the top youth beginning at 4:30 pm, followed by the elite NCAA men and women’s competition which will open at 6:30 pm.
As an organization dedicated to youth wrestlers from ages 6-18, RMN Events’ CEO Ed Gutierrez strongly believes in creating highlight moments for our young people in their march toward greatness. Therefore, after securing the rights to host the NWCA All-Star Classic, he immediately went to work creating this special moment for youth wrestling in order to celebrate Colorado and the nation’s best and brightest. The match-ups were determined by those which would elevate the level of competition, rather than decided by weight class alone.
A spotlight high school match sets up two-time state champs Dominick Serrano (Windsor HS – CO) against Jesse Ybarra (Sunnyside HS – AZ). In 2018, each also earned a Fargo Cadet freestyle crown at 126 (Serrano) and 120. Serrano is top-rated in the nation, while Tucson’s Sunnyside has been a training site for numerous state and NCAA champions as well as the likes of Olympic Champion Henry Cujedo.
Another feature match pits two nationally ranked 152-pounders. Montana’s Mike Weber is a three-time state champion for Forsyth High with an overall 146-7 record, a 3-time NHSCA finalist and 2017 champion, as well as a Fargo Greco champion and Freestyle runner-up. Weber battles New Jersey state champion Ricky Cabanillas out of DePaul Catholic HS, a New Jersey State and Beast of the East champion, as well as a 2-time Freak Show titlist.
Colorado’s UWW Triple Crown Winner Mosha Schwartz (Ponderosa HS) takes on Nebraska State Champion Maxx Mayfield (Lincoln East). Schwartz is a PanAm double gold winner in Greco and Freestyle as well as runner-up in the National Prep School Championships (Wyoming Seminary.) Mayfield is a Pre-Season Nationals runner-up and has placed fourth in freestyle at Fargo.
Colorado does not have an all-state championship; however, the Monster Prelims will match two returning 113-pound state champions, juniors Dawson Collins (5A Grand Junction) against Isaiah Gamez (3A La Junta). As freshmen, Collins placed second while Gamez was third in State.
In one of the two 10-and-under youth matches, hot youngster Ignacio Villasenor out of Pomona Elite Wrestling (CO) takes on superstud Israel Borge of Missouri’s Rare Breed Academy. Villasenor has earned the RMN Events’ World Belt for winning six tournaments in a season and is also a World of Wrestling Kick-off, Tulsa, and Reno World champion. With 600 lifetime victories, Borge is a four-time WOW Tulsa and Reno Worlds champion and the first to earn RMN’s Tri-State Belt while double-bracketed in two weight divisions.
The second youth match pits two familiar opponents each named Urijah: Team Duran’s “Yaya” Duran of Pueblo, CO, versus Garza of the New Mexico Elite Wrestling Academy. These two three-time youth state champs and winners of multiple RMN Events are 1-1 in matches against one another.
In other matches: