In a matter of hours, Josh Villa went from the doghouse to the penthouse Saturday afternoon.
The Windsor 113-pound sophomore felt the wrath of head wrestling coach Monte Trusty when he tipped the scales two-tenths of a pound overweight at 103 pounds.
Beside himself, Trusty sat Villa on the bench for the Wizards’ opening match at the Windsor Duals at Reg Figal Gymnasium.
Five hours and four victories later, Trusty was able to crack a smile while explaining Villa’s dilemma.
“Yeah, he was the bad guy when the day started,” Trusty said. “Him missing weight is a discipline thing. You have to be disciplined. You just don’t miss weight.”
Eventually, with Villa settled in at 113 and freshman Morgan Fogg suddenly called into duty at 106, the Wizards extended their dual-match win streak to 37, going 5-0 on the day.
The streak was in jeopardy in the Wizards’ last dual against Class 5A Rocky Mountain as they trailed 35-32 with only Fogg and Villa yet to wrestle.
Fogg, who went 5-0 on the day, needed just 3 minutes, 20 seconds to pin Rocky Mountain’s Antonio Campan to put the Wizards ahead 38-35; then Villa scrambled late for a double-let takedown against Logan Newcomb to win 12-9 and secure Windsor’s 41-35 win.
“I was just thinking I had to win and sort of prove myself to my coach,” Villa said. “He (Newcomb) was tall and it was hard to get in on a takedown. I eventually told myself that I had to push my limit.”
Fogg, who had his day all planned out as table help before being ushered into action, was opportunistic and primed to prove his worth in his first-ever high school competition.
“I’m a freshman, and I knew I had to step up for our team,” Fogg said.
Trusty labeled the wiry freshman as “a little stud,” lamenting about how important his five victories were to the Wizards.
“He came here to work one of the (matside) tables, and before you know it, we told him to get on the scale,” Trusty said. “Then it was time to wrestle his first match. What a gamer.”
Trusty had reminded his squad of the win streak, but stopped short of dwelling on it.
“It’s sort of a short-term goal to keep it going,” Trusty said. “It’s meaningful.”
Seven Wizards, including Fogg, were 5-0 on the day as the two-time Class 4A defending state champions began defense of their title.
Along with Fogg, the other Wizards who opened the season 5-0 were 120-pounder Joel Saloman, 152-pounder Kennen Lanteri, 160-pounder Vinny Gonzales, 170-pounder Joe Keller, 182-pounder Cosme Martinez and 220/heavyweight Jacob Winter.
Nobody besides Rocky Mountain challenged the Wizards, who beat Loveland 64-4, Greeley Central 62-12, Palmer Ridge 56-23 and Laramie (Wyo.) 59-9.
“We’ve got some guys who are banged up and some guys will compete at different weights, but it’s not going to be any kind of excuse,” Trusty said. “The weights of our little guys moved around today because of Villa not making weight.
“It took me a little while to finish being upset with him — once he started winning, it was behind us.”