Denver • Buried in the tunnels of the Pepsi Center, The Classical Academy senior Andrew Register sat perfectly still outside the home locker room with tears running down his face.
This was it, he said. Moments after his semifinals loss in the 145-pound weight class, Register closed the door not only on his high school wrestling days, but wrestling in general.
“I’m done with it. I knew coming into this season I’d be done after the season was over — just too many injuries,” said Register, who’s suffered multiple concussions, a torn shoulder muscle, a broken elbow, a torn MCL and multiple dislocated knee caps as the stalwart in the Titans wrestling program. “And this loss, well, I think this will haunt me for a couple years.”
It was decided by one move on Friday.
The TCA senior lost 3-1 only 16 seconds into sudden-victory overtime after he was spun to the ground and taken down by Valley’s Macoy Flanagan.
“I thought I could get him there and then I screwed it up,” said Register, who was looking for his second consecutive title after winning at 138 pounds last season. “I screwed it up.”
At that moment, Register couldn’t think of the remarkable journey that made him the face of the Titans program. He wasn’t thinking of the blood, sweat and tears he put into his craft over the years. And no, his spirits didn’t seem lifted by the idea he’d come back from a torn MCL last football season to get into the state wrestling semifinals just 3½ months later.
Instead, he was thinking about his memories with TCA coach Sean Collins, who helped the young wrestler conquer obstacles in wrestling, and in life.
“He’s a multisport athlete, so this wasn’t his year-round sport,” Collins said. “But whatever he did, he did with his whole heart and every ounce of his being. No matter what he went through, he kept his head up.
“When he leaves here, kids won’t remember if he won or not at this tournament — they’ll know his legacy by his work ethic he gave this program every practice. They’ll know his name by the good person he is on and off the mat.”
Johns falls in semis too
TCA’s Zach Johns (160) also lost in the semifinals after he bowed out midway through the third period in a 15-0 technical fall loss.
Despite the lopsided score, Collins said it’s astounding how far Johns has come as a wrestler.
“He just got beat by a better wrestler today, but that doesn’t take anything away from what he’s done,” Collins said. “He’s not the most athletic kid, but he doesn’t care. He’s out there playing soccer at a high level for our great program and coming here and wrestling at this level. He’s incredible.”
TCA qualified a school record nine wrestlers for the state tournament.
Brent W. New, The Gazette
Twitter: @brentwnew @gazettepreps