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Jacober, young Rebels continue to improve their skill set

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Lakewood knocks off Columbine, but Barron is seeing improvement in his grapplers

By Michael Hicks

LAKEWOOD — Tony Jacober didn’t hide the fact that he was excited, maybe even a little bit scared. After all, this was the Columbine sophomore’s varsity debut on Jan. 12 at Lakewood High School.

“I had to focus on just getting to work, beginning from practice to getting on the mat. Just completely focused on the match,” Jacober said. “I just want to work hard.”

He did just that in pinning the Tigers’ Benny Nance in 1 minute, 26 seconds. However, it was one of just four wins for Columbine in a 57-24 5A Jeffco League defeat.

Jacober had mentally prepared himself for the opportunity earlier in the week when it was made clear that he would be wrestling in place of injured varsity starter Nate Rivera.

“I was just totally stoked that I got to wrestle varsity,” the first-year wrestler said. “It feels really good. It feels like all the hard work that I’ve done is paying off.”

The same could be said for veteran grappler Tim Mullin. The senior 182-pounder wasted little time in pinning his Lakewood foe, Brayton Stieger, in just 54 seconds.

“I feel good,” Mullin said. “It can always be better, but, I mean, now that I’m started to get the wins going I’m just trying to improve the record and see if I can hopefully coast into state.”

But don’t think for a second that Mullin was overlooking Stieger. He most certainly wasn’t.

“As always going into the match you, as a wrestler, you’ve got to know that everybody’s beatable no matter how good or how bad. Everybody is a good wrestler,” he said. “You’ve got to know that you can get beaten, too. You’ve just got to come in with confidence knowing that you can win this match.”

The Rebels’ other victories came at 132 where Andrew DeCilles drew a forfeit victory and at 138 when Hugh Wheatley pinned Lakewood’s Josh Gibson in 3:28.

“We’re getting better doing the stuff that I want them to do. It’s just going to take the full year to get there,” Columbine head coach Ray Barron said. “Some kids are picking it up quicker and being able to put together the takedowns like I like and the pins that I like. Those things are good that our younger guys are improving. The future looks bright.”

Contact Michael Hicks, sports editor, at 303-350-1047 or sports@evergreenco.com. Follow on Twitter @MHicks12571.