Thomas Jefferson

High School | Home of the Spartans

TJ Wrestling Hits Stride Nearing Regionals

Posted 02/04/2009 by Vince Crespin

TJ enjoys “home mat” advantage as they host matches two consecutive nights and impress in both against tough competition.


photo by Kevin Fleming

On Thursday January 30, TJ played host to the Heritage Eagles of Littleton and won convincingly 44-32 in a pre-cursor of more to come the following day. Among the nights winners were Cody DeLabarre, Chris Salazar, Justin Hoffman, Joey Scarlett, Guillermo Estrada, Peter Taylor, Evan Duran and Leon Baskerville. “It was a fun match as a coach. Our guys went out there and just wrestled hard. Even the matches we lost our kids fought and did well. This could be the best as a team we have done all year. Heritage is a pretty solid team, and for us to go out there and win like that was fun to watch,” said Head Coach Mike Laurita.

The next day TJ started off where they had finished the previous night with individuals wrestling strong, and winning many of the team duals. The wrestling squad fought their way to 3rd place out of 16 total teams ranging from 1A to 5A in state classification. The Spartans dominated early but ran into some trouble later on, dropping the match to Pueblo South, the 1st place finisher of the tournament, and losing to Wiggins, ranked number two in the state for 2A in the final match. “It will always be disappointing to lose in the final match. We missed second place by 5 ½ points to Wiggins. One match would have made the difference. However we did well overall and I think we are progressing nicely,” said Laurita. TJ had four second place finishers in DeLabarre, Hoffman, Salazar and Boris Tubic. They also picked up points from fourth place wrestlers Duran, Taylor, Anthony Choy, and Matt Francis.

This coming weekend will be the Denver Prep League Meet, which means one thing: a rematch with East High School, the team TJ beat in the final match of their dual last year to win the DPL crown, the first time in TJ’s history. “We should do well on Saturday; we have seen most of these teams and have done well against them in the past. East should be interesting from the stand point that we beat them in a close match last year and they want to return the favor. If our kids do what they’re capable of, I am confident we can wrestle with any team in the state,” stated Laurita.

The DPL Meet will take place on Saturday, February 7th, at 8:30 am at TJ.