DENVER - The Demons spent the first day of the CHSAA Class 4A State Wrestling Championships searching searching for a win.
With six state qualifiers in their first season in Class 4A after a decade as a 5A school, the Demons ran into a bevy of top seeds at the Pepsi Center on Thursday night.
All six Demons dropped their first-round state matches.
Durango heavyweight Trevor Gillen came the closest to a opening-round victory Thursday.
Gillen tangled with Edgar Juarez-Palma of Alameda in the final match on Thursdays card.
The two heavyweights stayed on their feet and were tied 0-0 after the first period.
Gillen took a 1-0 lead after the second period. They were tied 2-2 at the end of regulation.
Juarez-Palma used a takedown and two back points in overtime for a tense 6-2 victory over the second-seeded Gillen (44-3).
Were still looking for a W, Durango head coach Doug Cuddie said. We need a win.
Earlier, the Demons incurred losses by Rudy Peterson, Clay Dillon, Donald Kirby, Gabe Crawford and Elliott Salazar.
Peterson, the Demons two-time state qualifier, lost his opening-round match at 112 pounds to sophomore A.J. Rees of Discovery Canyon High School in Colorado Springs.
Rees led 2-0 after the first period, then pushed the lead to 6-1 entering the final period. He finished with a 10-2 decision to improve to 39-3.
Peterson (39-7) will move to the consolation bracket for matches today. He still can wrestle back for third place.
At 119 pounds, Durango first-time qualifier Dillon, a sophomore, lost a 15-0 major decision to No. 1 seed Jace Lopez of Roosevelt. Lopez, also a sophomore, will move to the Class 4A quarterfinals, while Dillon moves into the consolation bracket.
Kirby, at 130 pounds, squared off against Jordan LaRoche of Fort Lupton in the first round.
LaRoche broke to an early 5-0 lead in the first period. He eventually won a tough 9-3 decision, but he couldnt pin the Durango senior.
He (Kirby) did some nice things out there, Cuddie said. He really battled.
We knew it would be a tough match. When you finish fourth at Regionals (such as Kirby did), you know youre going to face a Regional champion in the first round (at state). So we knew this would be a tough match.
Cuddie said the Demons effort Thursday night will help them today in the consolation matches.
That kid is really good who beat Rudy, DHS head coach Doug Cuddie said. That 112-pound class is a stud weight class this year.
And Clay ... he drew a really tough kid, too. That kid should be in the finals, Cuddie said of Lopez.
Its just the first day. We can start again (today) and come back.
But Id like to see us a battle a little more, Cuddie said.
Crawford, also making his first appearance at the state tournament, was pinned in the first period by top seed Nathaniel Garcia of Windsor.
Garcia (41-1) pinned Crawford (24-17) in 32 seconds of their match at 140 pounds.
Similarly, Durangos Salazar was pinned by Austin Harris of Windsor in the second period.
Harris (38-7) led 6-0 when he finished his pin 55 seconds into the second frame.
Salazar (34-11) will move to the consolation bracket in the 145-pound bracket in Class 4A.
Wrestling will resume today at the Pepsi Center with Class 2A and 3A quarterfinals this morning. Consolation matches will continue throughout the day in all classes.
The quarterfinals in 4A and 5A will begin at 1 p.m. today. State semifinal matches in all classifications will begin at 7:15 p.m. today.
The state championship matches are scheduled for 7 p.m. Saturday.