Pin up: Moffat County’s Peroulis third at state tourney
February 21, 2016
DenverDenver — It all came back to family for Moffat County High School senior Stelios Peroulis on Saturday afternoon. — It all came back to family for Moffat County High School senior Stelios Peroulis on Saturday afternoon.
Denver — It all came back to family for Moffat County High School senior Stelios Peroulis on Saturday afternoon.
Sure, he was the one who got the pin in the Class 3A 220-pound consolation finals against Mead senior Jack Gallegos, locking up a third-place finish at the season's biggest tournament.
And it was Peroulis who got to celebrate on the mat, bounding up and throwing his arms in the air, a weekend redeemed and a season justified.
One excellent bit of scouting by his brother helped make that final pin possible, however, and afterward, Peroulis's thoughts drifted to another family member as he stood, beaming, talking about one of the best matches of his four-year career.
"I hope my dad's proud," he said.
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That seems likely.
Peroulis's ambitions to win the state championship were torpedoed in his first match at the state tournament, in Denver's Pepsi Center. He lost in overtime, but didn't dwell on it.
Instead, he bounced back and didn't lose again, charging through his next five matches to become one of two Bulldogs to medal at the weekend's event.
Dogs junior Hugo Hernandez placed sixth at 182 pounds.
The big match for Hernandez come early Saturday, when he won a 9-4 decision against Manitou Springs wrestler Jacob Rider in the third round of the consolation bracket.
That ensured a medal.
He lost his final two matches, pinned by Sheridan senior Aaron Apodaca in the consolation semifinals, then 8-2 against Sterling's Patrick Holtzhauser in the fifth-place match. Still, in placing sixth and getting a medal he accomplished what's been a rare feat for Bulldog wrestlers recently.
"He came in and did something unexpected," coach Tanner Linsacum said. "He wasn't supposed to be in the top six, but had some great matches and beat some kids he wasn't supposed to beat."
Two other Moffat wrestlers lost in that third consolation round, just missing out on medals. Issik Herod lost 3-2 while Mikinzie Klimper fell 12-6.
The big tip from Peroulis's brother was on what his opponent, Jack Gallegos, would try to do to escape from the bottom. In a previous match he'd turned to the "Granby roll," a kind of somersault that could have allowed him a way out.
Peroulis was ready and when Gallegos went to roll, he didn't get far. Peroulis caught him mid-move on his back, locked on and squeezed his shoulders to the mat until he got the pin.
His friends and family erupted from the stands, most certainly proud.
"It's pretty awesome," Peroulis said. "I was hoping to place a little higher, but I'm pretty happy with what I got right now."