Attendance record set on bittersweet night

Attendance record set on bittersweet night

Grand Canyon 20, CSU-Pueblo 19

PUEBLO, Colo. (Feb. 13, 2009) - CSU-Pueblo's top wrestler, Louie DeSantis (Jr., Escondido, Calif.), was tasked with needing at least a technical fall to deliver a win for the ThunderWolves over Grand Canyon Friday, but delivered a modest 6-5 decision win over Bryan Scambler in the final match of the night, leaving the ThunderWolves on the short end by a 20-19 score.

The Pack's slim loss came on a night in which the ThunderWolves shattered the school record for average home attendance, bringing in 885 fans Friday, giving CSU-Pueblo wrestling an average attendance of 1,280 fans per dual this season during their four-dual home schedule. 

Against the record-setting backdrop, the ThunderWolves saw opportunities slip through their fingers, leading to the slim dual loss.  Despite getting wins from win-leader DeSantis at 149 pounds and a rousing major decision by Martin Dick (Fr., Azle, Tex.) over Jack Porter in the 165-pound match, the Pack could not take advantage of several chances offered by the visiting Lopes, falling short in several pivotal matches. 

Justin Grant (Jr., Winnemucca, Nev.) was on the short end of a 3-1 decision to Daniel Garay at 174 pounds, and Joe Jones (Fr., Aurora, Colo.) was caught on his back in the first period, getting pinned by Alex Contreras at 133 pounds.

Those and other losses undid six points spotted to the Pack by a forfeit at 125 pounds, leaving the burden on DeSantis to carry the Pack to a win.  Despite improving to 23-9 on the season with his win, DeSantis came in boasting just two pins on the season, and faced incredible competition from Scambler, who came in with an 11-19 record.

The ThunderWolves closed their home dual season Friday, their attendance record besting that set in 1992, when then-University of Southern Colorado averaged 1,057 fans per dual in a six-dual home schedule.  The attendance mark that season is skewed, however, as a bulk of the fans that season came for a dual vs. Division-I University of Iowa, in which a school record 3,847 fans attended. 

In 2009, CSU-Pueblo drew more than 1,000 fans twice, only the second and third time in school history a wrestling dual has drawn more than 1,000 fans.  The ThunderWolves never drew less than 800 fans during 2009.

CSU-Pueblo will continue to look for its first Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference win Saturday night when it travels to Las Vegas, N.M. to take on New Mexico Highlands, helmed by former longtime University of Southern Colorado head wrestling coach, Doug Moses.