Multiple bright spots for Berthoud wrestling

By Dan Karpiel
The Surveyor

From a team standpoint, the Berthoud High School wrestling team has not had a stellar season, thanks to the combination of youth and a spate of injuries. Yet, with regionals a little more than a week away, a number of Spartans appear to be rounding into postseason form.

Berthoud came up short in a pair of conference duals over the last week, falling 60-18 to Erie as a result of six forfeits from the Spartans on Jan. 25 and then losing by a razor-thin 35-34 final team score to Holy Family the following night. Over the weekend at the Viking Invitational, Berthoud saw four wrestlers take the podium in the multi-team event.

Wyatt Larson, who suffered an ankle injury early in the season that left him in a cast for over a month, has returned to the mat for Berthoud and appears poised to make a return trip to state. The junior won both of his bouts in the dual, with a 3-1 decision over Erie’s Trevor David and a 10-0 major decision over Owen Keaser of Holy Family. Larson took a respectable fourth place in Valley in the 170-pound class.

“I did a ton of physical therapy all Christmas break, they put me in a cast, and right after Christmas break I started wrestling again and have been doing pretty good,” Larson explained. “I’ve been working really hard to come back and I’m really feeling good out there.”

Senior Matt Bailey (138) and sophomore Austyn Binkly (132) each won their third-place bouts with decisions in the Viking Invite and Binkly pinned both of his opponents in the first period in the duals with Erie and Holy Family. Isaiah Garcia, competing at 145 pounds for Berthoud, wrestled to the match limit against Ty Garnhart of Eaton in the fifth-place bout in Valley, having earlier notched a win via the fall in 5:40 over Witt Unruh of Erie three days prior. L.T. Torres (113) has been making big strides for the Spartans as the regular season winds to the close, winning both of his bouts in the conference duals by defeating Trevor Harris of Erie with a 12-7 decision and picking up another win by pinning Andrew Kuzik of Holy Family in just 1:04.

Berthoud takes to the mat for the final time before regionals on Feb. 2, when they host Mead for a conference dual.