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Welcome to the Mullen wrestling page. While the Mustangs are in search of their first team Colorado title, the all-time leader is Rocky Ford with 12, followed closely by Alamosa and Montrose with 11 each, and Holly, Ponderosa and Wray, which all have won 10. Mullen will compete in the Centennial League, comprised of Class 5A teams, then shift to 3A in the postseason. The Mustangs will be in the 3A Central Region with Alameda, Conifer, Denver West, Eagle Valley, Elizabeth, Englewood, Faith Christian, Lamar, Middle Park, Moffat County, Platte Canyon, Skyview and Steamboat Springs.


Jaydon Vigil is a Colorado Golden Gloves Champion

By Neil H. Devlin
Mullen Sports Information Specialist

Jaydon Vigil is a very bad young man … bad as in he can handle himself with his fists and he just added another title to further prove it.

On Sunday, the Mullen senior became a Colorado Golden Gloves champion. He capped the week-long USA Boxing event at the Imperium Event Center in Northglenn by capturing the 152-pound title.

“Oh, I’m super-excited,” Vigil said. “The hard work is starting to pay off.”

Vigil won two bouts, on Friday and Sunday, and got a further taste of what can happen when judges get involved.

“Both were split decisions,” Vigil said. “In the first fight, I thought I blew him out, but one of the judges had my opponent winning … the same thing happened the next night. (My opponent) was just gassed in the third round and I pounded the body and got on top of him and hit him with some power shots. I slowly brought him down.”

Realistically, Vigil added, “I was just glad I could win.”

His education in the sweet science continues in more ways than one as he says he frequently faces foes in their mid-to-late 20s

“The thing is, these guys are older … I’m 18 and they’re like, 26, 27 … they’ve got their power; I’m still developing,” he said.

And advancing – Vigil’s status as state champion pushes him to regional rounds to be held in Albuquerque on April 28.

He wishes they were today.

“I worked out this morning and I just got back from another workout,” he said early Monday evening. “Everybody says hard work pays off and you never know until you witness it and get to live it. It feels like everything is coming together.

“And I think I have a very good chance of winning.”

Wrestlers knocked out of state tournament

By Neil H. Devlin
Mullen Sports Information Specialist

After a hint of promise on Thursday, Mullen wrestling was quickly removed from the Colorado tournament on Friday.

The Mustangs were 0-5 on Friday, including two losses in the quarterfinals. As a group, their three entrants were 2-6 in the Class 3A portion of competition at the Pepsi Center.

On Thursday, both Dimitris Flores, 152 pounds, and Sebastian Campos, 170, advanced through the preliminaries in earning their first tournament victories. However, both suffered two defeats.

Flores, in his third trip to state, was pinned in 3 minutes, 57 seconds by Alamosa’s Reis Martinez, who had entered the field just 3-1 because of injuries throughout the regular season. Martinez went on to advance to Saturday’s championship round. Flores entered consolation rounds and lost by major decision (13-2) to Brian De La Rosa of Rifle. Flores ended his senior year with 33 victories.

As for Campos, he couldn’t back his first round – he dropped an 11-4 decision to Wyatt Larson of Berthoud. Into the consolations, he was on the shrot end of a tight 8-6 decision to Keaton Green of Florence. Campos, another 12th-grader, had 34 victories in 2017-18, more than 100 in his career.

And Mustangs junior Dante Silva, in his first season of wrestling that also contained multiple injuries, he also ended in consolations. A heavyweight, Silva lost in overtime in the preliminaries on Thursday and was pinned in the first round of consolations in 1:17 by Holyoke’s Andrew Edwards.


Flores, Campos advance at state wrestling

By Neil H. Devlin
Mullen Sports Information Specialist

Mullen was able to push two of its three wrestlers into Friday morning’s quarterfinals.

Seniors Dimitris Flores and Sebastian Campos each advanced and junior Dante Silva was a victim late in overtime on Thursday in the Class 3A preliminaries of the Colorado tournament at the Pepsi Center.

A 152-pounder, Flores, here for the third time in four years (he missed last year’s tournament with a concussion), had been 0-4 at state, 0-2 in consecutive seasons. However, he handled Fort Lupton’s Koby Galicia by 11-3, earning a major decision and boosting his season record to 33-7.

“I was in control … just sometimes I was out of position in taking some shots,” Flores said. “This is my first win at state and it’s nice to get the first match out of the way. (On Friday) I just have to push the pace.”

Flores admitted to “being nervous. But it was fun. I didn’t show that much emotion. It’s just the first match and I want to make the finals.”

Galicia, a junior, is 18-22 and headed to the consolations.

In the quarters, Flores will meet Reis Martinez of Alamosa, who's here despite the fact that he entered with a 3-1 record.

“I know he has been hurt all year,” Flores said.

Martinez knocked off Zach Waite of Platte Valley, a senior who entered 22-6.

As for Campos, who improved to 35-12, he had been 0-2 at state, qualifying as a junior. But he earned a hard-fought victory over Delta’s Aiden Barrios (24-14), a junior. Campos grabbed a 2-0 first-period lead and held it. Familiarity also was key.

“I wrestled him a couple of times previously, at the Florence Tournament,” Campos said. “I kind of wrestled into his strengths and it was a tough match. I was just able to move on.”

Campos earned this third victory against Barrios. His quarterfinal foe will be Berthoud senior Wyatt Larson (33-10), who won his prelims match by decision.

Silva, a junior and three-sporter (he plays football and throws the discus) who has had his own injury problems, dipped to 11-7 after dropping a 3-1 decision in overtime to senior Oswaldo Morales of Basalt. Both competitors earned escapes during regulation. Morales won it in the final seconds with a reversal after being in the bottom position.

Lighter for a heavyweight – he’s about 228 pounds – Silva said of his first-ever state match: “Yeah, I was into it, I was focused and my warmup felt really good.”

It can be an issue, he said, going up against wider, stronger and rounder foes at the heaviest weight, “as it’s a little different. They’re not as fast and agile, and I feel like I have an advantage in the standing game, but when I'm on the bottom it’s a little different. I’m just trying to compete, you know?”

Today’s 3A schedule: Weigh-in, 7 a.m.; quarterfinals, 9:30 a.m.; first-round consolation immediately following; second-round consolation, 5:30-6:45 p.m.; semifinals, all classes, 7 p.m.

Mullen’s Big 3 ready to rumble at state

By Neil H. Devlin
Mullen Sports Information Specialist

They are down to just three wrestlers, but Mullen’s Mustangs hope to make some points at the Colorado tournament.

Beginning Thursday with the Class 3A preliminaries, Dimitris Flores, Sebastian Campos and Dante Silva hope to extend their stay at the Pepsi Center, where there will be three days of action over four classifications.

“If we just stay focused, I think they’ll be all right,” Mullen head coach John Howes said. ”Just score your points. Don’t go for the kill shot. Just score your points.”

At the climax of the season, it’s a mix of new and old for Mullen. Howe was a longtime figure at Arvada, assisted the past two seasons and took over in 2017-18 for Vince Massey.

“Vince had it set pretty good,” Howes said.

Flores is in his third state tournament, Campos his second and it’s the first for Silva.

At 152 pounds, Flores brings a 32-7 record. He was a regional champion and is eager to begin.

“Yeah, it’s going to be fun,” he said. “I think I’m pretty confident with the bracket. I just want to go out there and wrestle match-by-match and see where it goes. You can’t look too far ahead. When you look past any matches, that’s when you screw up.”

Flores will open against Fort Lupton’s Koby Galicia, a junior who’s 18-20.

Campos, now 34-12 after finishing fourth in regionals, wants to improve on his two-loss-and-out effort a year ago.

“I’m excited,” he said. “Last year, I was a little nervous. It was just inexperience. It wasn’t necessarily bad. I was just learning.”

Aiden Barrios of Delta, a junior who’s 24-12, will meet Campos in the first round.

As for Silva, a rash of injuries has limited the three-sporter (he’s a defensive end in football and throws the discus in track and field) to a heavyweight record of 11-6. He finished second at regionals when he was unable to compete in the final.

Now, though, he said, “I’m feeling pretty good, pretty confident. I’m facing some tough opponents this weekend. But I’m feeling good about this. I like it. It’s a good sport.”

Silva will begin against Oswaldo Morales of Basalt, a senior who’s 26-4.

Said Howes: “There are opportunities for them if they just take them, stay focused, and listen. They were great (the past) weekend.”

3A Schedule -- Thiursday, preliminaries, 3 p.m.; Friday, quarterfinals, 9:30 a.m.; first-round consolation, immediately following; second-round consolation, 5:30-6:45 p.m.; Saturday, fifth place, 1:30 p.m.; third place, immediately following; parade of champions, 6:30 p.m., followed by title bouts.


Mustangs sending 3 wrestlers to the Pepsi Center

By Neil H. Devlin
Mullen Sports Information Specialist

ENGLEWOOD – With a champion, a runner-up and a fourth-place winner, Mullen qualified three wrestlers on Saturday for this weekend’s Colorado wrestling tournament and had eight competitors place in regionals in the beginning of the 2017-18 postseason.

Competing in the Class 3A Region 3 tournament at Englewood, Mustangs head coach John Howes said he was pleased with his team’s effort that included finishing eighth among teams.

Mullen was topped by Dimitris Flores, who won the 152-pound class. It will be his third trip to the Pepsi Center in four years (he missed last year with a concussion). Now 34-6, Flores won three consecutive decisions, the last one by 5-4, to advance.

At heavyweight, Dante Silva (13-7) earned two decisions to make it to the final, but had to forfeit the title bout because of a shoulder injury. Howes said Silva should be ready to go by Thursday’s preliminary rounds.

At 170, Sebastian Campos (34-12) fought his way to fourth and will be making his second straight state trip.

An injury probably kept another Mullen competitor from qualifying. Senior Max Thenell lost his bout to take third at 182, but had another chance in a wrestleback. However, he dislocated an elbow during competition, Howes said. Thenell finished fifth.

At 220, Mullen’s Isaiah Rios also lost a wrestleback and took fifth.

Junior Aaron Gonzales (120) and sophomores NIck Machock (126) and Cole Nading (145) also finished sixth for the Mustangs.

Final team scores: Lamar 255; Moffat County 236; Eagle Valey 210.5; Steamboat Springs 127; Elizabeth 122; Skyview 118; Conifer 101.5; Mullen 97; Middle Park 66; Alameda 49.5; Faith Christian 27; Platte Canyon 7; Denver West 6; Englewood 0.

The three Mustangs qualifiers will have practice this week in preparation for Thursday’s 11:30 a.m. weigh-in, then the start of bouts at 3 p.m. Quarterfinals will be the first session on Friday and the semifinals will be in the evening. The parade of champions and championship matches will be Saturday night.

Mustangs set for wrestling regionals at Englewood

By Neil H. Devlin
Mullen Sports Information Specialist

The much-anticipated postseason for wrestling is here.

And Mullen is eager.

The Mustangs will compete in the Class 3A Central Region this weekend, beginning Friday at 4 p.m. at Englewood. Championship rounds should roil into late afternoon on Saturday.

The top four in each weight class will advance to next week’s state championships at the Pepsi Center.

“It’s the best time of the year, when I get the most excited,” Mustangs head coach John Howes said. “It’s what we work for.”

Howes, in his first year heading the Mustangs after serving as an assistant, said he would be thrilled if his guys can qualify five for state. They also have two best bets – seniors Dimitris Flores (152 pounds) and Sebastian Campos (170) -- who can’t wait to get to the center of a mat.

And the word fun remains prominent in their vernacular, as it does for most wrestlers at this time of year.

“It’s going to be pretty fun, all of the work we’ve done, and what we’ve been training for as a team,” Flores said. “Basically, all of the records go away and you just go out and scrap. It doesn’t matter about any rankings.”

Flores has qualified for the third time in his career. He missed qualifying as a junior because of a concussion, but has been strong throughout 2017-18, compiling a 31-6 record.

Campos (170), seeking his second trip to the Pepsi Center, recently took his 100th career victory.

“I’m feeling loose and I’m about to have some fun,” Campos said. “I’m very excited and looking to capitalize on last year, when I qualified for state for the first time. I’m hoping to do some damage.”

Mullen will contend with Alameda, Conifer, Denver West, Eagle Valley, Elizabeth, Englewood, Faith Christian, Lamar, Middle Park, Moffat County, Platte Canyon, Skyview and Steamboat Springs.

“Some of the weights are tougher than heck; others not as bad, just like usual,” Howes said.

Said Flores: “It’s going to be a fun weekend.”

Mustangs grappling with improvement and eye on postseason

By Neil H. Devlin
Mullen Sports Information Specialist

The ups. The downs. The punishment. The preparation. The rewards.

Mullen’s Mustangs are experiencing all of them and more on the mats.

Wrestlers have gotten back in full swing after the holiday break. They finished in fifth place of their own invitational the past weekend and on Thursday night dropped a dual meet to rival Cherry Creek 48-27 in Greenwood Village.

First-year coach John Howes, a former Mullen assistant, said “we’re young. Holy smokes, we’re young! But we’re coming along.”

Perhaps the top two Mullen competitors, Dimitris Flores and Sebastian Campos, headed the showing in the 10-team tournament. Campos finished first at 170 pounds and Flores took second at 152. Plus, Dante Silva (Hwt.) managed third.

As for the dual meet against the Bruins, which began with the rotation of weights at heavyweight, it was tied at 27-all through 160s. However, Cherry Creek won the final four matches, two by fall.

“It was fun,” said Flores, who earned a 20-8 major decision at 152. “I wish the final score held up better, but it’s all right. This doesn’t matter; it’s all about regionals and state.”

Both teams forfeited at multiple weights and Blake Machock earned a pin at 113.

“Blake took his opportunity,” said Howes, adding that “some of them have to trust us (as coaches) when they go out there.”

Mullen, which will compete in the Class 3A postseason, will get a taste of it over the next two weekends. From Friday-Saturday, the Mustangs will be in Florence for the Mel Smith Husky Invitational that will have more than two dozen mid-range schools, many of the top programs.

“It’s going to be like the state tournament,” Howes said. “It will be a gauge of what we have to work on.”

A week later, Mullen will have dual meets with Smoky Hill and Jefferson before heading to Kersey for more top 3A competition, a series of dual meets held at Platte Valley.

“I’m pleased with the progress,” Howes said. “It’s a tough sport. We just need to keep going.”

Said Flores: “We need to keep working hard and getting ready for regionals and state.”

Mustangs wrestlers compete at always tough NCCT

By Neil H. Devlin
Mullen Sports Information Specialist

In the always demanding Northern Colorado Christmas Tournament that annually draws gobs of elite wrestlers, Mullen had two competitors advance to the second day through consolations.

Held Friday-Saturday at the Budweiser Events Center in Loveland, the Mustangs’ Dimitris Flores and Sebastian Campos experienced some success through wrestlebacks.

Flores, a senior and two-time state qualifier who missed the postseason as a junior with a concussion, dropped his opening match at 152 pounds to Miles Beam of Roosevelt by fall in 3 minutes, 45 seconds. Beam went on to finish seventh. Flores responded by winning four consecutive matches, including one by pin and another by major decision, before losing 7-0 to Canon City’s Zach Hanenberg, who finished sixth.

Campos, at 170 and also a senior, opened the tournament with three consecutive quick pins in 1:16, 27 seconds and 1:36. He was then pinned by Brighton’s Tarron Adams in 3:13. Into the consolations, Campos was pinned in 1:58 by Mason Repshire, also of Canon City.

Each weight class had brackets of 64 wrestlers. Mullen was 51st in the field of 65 teams. Windsor was first with 230.5 points. Next were Pueblo East (214) and Poudre (207.5). Mullen had 31.

The Mustangs will be idle until after the holiday break. They will host a multi-team tournament on Jan. 6.

Wrestlers place at Denver North, drop two duals

By Neil H. Devlin
Mullen Sports Information Specialist

Below are summaries of Mullen’s past three wrestling matches:

The Mustangs were dominated in a home dual meet on Wednesday night, falling to Centennial’s Eaglecrest 57-12.

They were able to take three bouts.

At 126 pounds, Aaron Gonzales earned an 8-4 decision.

Dimitris Flores (152) took a hard-fought 5-4 decision capped by a last-second takedown.

And Sebastian Campos won by quick pin at 170 – a fall in only 24 seconds.

In the Denver North Invitational the past weekend, several Mustangs placed.

Flores (152), Cole Nading (160) and Max Thenell (195) each earned runner-up showings. And Campos (170) was third.

In the past week’s dual against Centennial’s Arapahoe, Mullen was able to win four bouts, all by fall, in a 57-24 defeat.

 At 126, Nick Machock won in the second period, at 2:56.

Flores (152) and Campos (170) had quick pins – Flores won in 23 seconds and Campos in 42.

And Thenell won his 195 bout in 2:35.

Next for the Mustangs is the annual holiday gathering up north, hosted by University at the Budweiser Event Center in Loveland. Held from Friday-to-Saturday, the field will be full of high-end competitors.

Wrestlers handle Fort Lupton 44-21 in a dual

By Neil H. Devlin
Mullen Sports Information Specialist

“I didn’t think it was going to happen.”

But it did and John Howes earned his first dual-meet victory as Mullen’s new wrestling head coach and it was accomplished thoroughly. The Mustangs handled visiting Fort Lupton 44-21. Not that Howes, a former assistant for the Mustangs for a couple of years as well as longtime figure in Arvada, was pumping up himself or taking note of the situation… no, he was most excited about further evolvement of his wrestlers.

“They did well, listened and went out there with intensity,” Howes said of winning in the school’s historic gymnasium. It was good to sit back and watch them.”

Senior Dimitris Flores, a 152-pounder and two-time state qualifier – he suffered a concussion and missed regionals the past season – was impressive with a major decision at 152 pounds.

“It was good and our intensity was up,” he said. “We just need to keep this flow.”

Sebastian Campos (182) also earned a major decision and said “I listened to the coaches and they helped me through it, as usual.”

Campos is working to down to 170 “and you can definitely feel how much bigger they are (at 182) … I just need to keep working and break their souls.”

Senior Max Thenell (195) and heavyweight Dante Silva both were impressive with first-period pins, Thenell winning in 1 minute, 7 seconds, and Silva in 1:30.

Mullen also benefitted from multiple forfeits by the Blue Devils,

“It will fill in, guys will get down to weight,” Howes said of completing his 14-weight lineup. “And some guys will have enough practices in … tonight it worked out well where I could fill the holes and put kids in situations.”

Mullen had started the season against Class 5A power Grandview, which flexed its muscles in a 67-9 pounding on opening-night. The Mustangs had seven forfeits, but managed victories by Flores at 152 with a 4-3 decision and 195, where Thenell trailed 5-4 before winning by fall in 4:31.

The Mustangs then had a series of tournament duals in a weekend gathering at Golden. They went 2-3, beating Platte Canyon and Strasburg, and losing to Golden, Mountain Vista and Thomas Jefferson.

 At Golden, Howes said, “we did well match-wise; team-wise, it was horrible and we forfeited a lot of matches.”

But they seem to be finding their way and are looking forward to significant competition before the holiday break. On Thursday, Dec. 7, the Mustangs will host Arapahoe at 7 p.m., then be at the Denver North Tournament on Saturday, Dec. 9. Howes said the junior-varsity tournament that was supposed to take place at the same time (at Smoky Hill) was cancelled, so there should be varsity opportunities available.

And next week will involve a dual meet against Eaglecrest as well as one of the biggies of the season, the University-run invitational at the Budweiser Events Center in Loveland.

Excitement abounds, notably for Flores, who’s 7-0 and knows where he wants to head.

“There’s stuff I can work on to get better as the season goes on,” he said, “but all that matters (are) regionals and state.”

And Howes seems to be pleased with his competitors.

“You know, I am,” he said. “They’re in shape, there’s no doubt. We’re still working on the intensity, but it’s good.”

Mustangs grapplers have new look, new coach

By Neil H. Devlin
Mullen Sports Information Specialist

The new look for Mullen wrestling is right in front.

Former assistant coach John Howes, who also headed Arvada in Jefferson County for 16 years, has taken over the Mustangs after serving as an assistant with Mullen for two seasons.

Howes, who has 28 years on the job, including at Green Mountain in Lakewood, won numerous coaching awards and tutored multiple champions, said he foresees little change in terms of leadership in taking over for Vince Massey.

“After assisting with Vince the past two years, we were on the same page to begin with,” Howes said.

The Mustangs opened practice with 31 hopefuls and Howes said he expects the roster to be carried by 25-to-26 wrestlers.

A handful of Mustangs made the trip to the Pepsi Center a year ago for the Colorado tournament. Dimitris Flores, Mullen’s lone two-time state qualifier, will wrestle at either 145 or 152 pounds. Senior Sebastian Campos, another qualifier, will handle 170. Aaron Gonzales (126) and Cole Nading (152 or 160) also are in search of another state trip.

After the holidays, Howes said, John Sumner, a transfer from Faith Christian (he was at 126 a year ago), will be eligible after being forced to sit out the first half of the season.

Mullen lost other qualifiers and challengers through injury or health problems, but Howes remains optimistic.

“If they stay focused all year, we can definitely get four or five into the state tournament and I think three or four can place,” he said.

However, he added, “the difficult thing is this is the first time I’ve coached outside the building in 19 years, and being an assistant didn’t bother me as much, but being the head coach and not being in the building could be a little bit difficult.”

Difficult? Mullen’s schedule will be difficult. “Tough as hell,” is how Howes put it. The Mustangs will open the season with a Centennial League foe, Grandview, on Nov. 30. Next will be the Golden tournament, a couple of duals, then the Northern Colorado Tournament in Loveland from Dec. 15-16.

In addition to matches against the likes of Arapahoe, Cherry Creek, Overland, Cherokee Trail, etc., in 5A league, also look for a trip to the Mel Smith Husky Invitational in Florence Tournament Jan. 12-13, when the Mustangs will go against most of the top 3A and 2A schools, then a trip to the 3A regionals, the Central group, Feb. 9-10 at Englewood.

The state tournament will be Feb. 15-17.

Mullen's John Howes promoted to wrestling head coach

By Mullen Staff

Mullen is pleased to announce John Howes as its new head wrestling coach.

Athletic director Vince Massey stated: “We are thrilled to welcome Coach Howes to the Mullen community.  Coach Howes’ résumé speaks for itself, and he has been a major contributor to Mullen’s wrestling success these past two years (as an assistant).  We believe Coach Howes is the perfect coach to lead Mullen wrestling into the future.”

Howes, in his 28-year coaching career, has placed 32 wrestlers in the state tournament, coached nine state champions, had three wrestlers selected to All-Colorado teamz, two wrestlers named as wrestler of the year, and had two wrestlers receive the Dave Schultz High School Excellence Award.  Other additional accomplishments in his many years of service on the mat include an NFSHCA National Championship with two runner-up finishes and nine total placers.  Five of those wrestlers finished in the top 20 of the NFSHCA.

Mr. Howes has spent the last two seasons working as a Mullen assistant coach, and brings to his new position a wealth of coaching experience.  He was an assistant wrestling coach at Green Mountain for eight years and at Arvada for two years.  He was Arvada’s head coach for 16 years and was a two-time all-state coach, a Jeffco 4A coach of the year, and a three-time Jeffco coach of the year.

An in-state teacher for the past 27 years, John loves to travel the world and has been on 20 building-service projects throughout Mexico, Eleuthria, and Central America.  Lisa, his wife of 29 years, and John have two sons, Brock and Bolton.  Brock is currently a student at North Park University in Chicago, and Bolton is working on a PHD Fellowship at Princeton University.

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