AURORA | Black Friday shopping madness is long passed, but there will be a new type of wrestling going on Tuesday at The Town Center of Aurora.
Legitimate wrestling to be exact, as Rodney Padilla and his Hinkley wrestling team have set up a unique dual match in the hallway of one of the area’s longest-standing shopping venues.
The “Takedown at Town Center” is set for 6 p.m. when the Thunderbirds roll out a mat in front of the Dillard’s store on the east side of the mall and take on the Far Northeast Warriors. Some other Colorado teams have held dual matches outside in football stadiums, but this has a different twist.
“We’re just trying to promote the sport,” said Padilla, Hinkley’s athletic director and head wrestling coach. “It doesn’t cost anything to watch and we’re trying to get some good wrestling matchups.”
When he coached at Chaparral High School in Parker prior to his time at Hinkley, Padilla said he tried to set up a dual match at Park Meadows, but there wasn’t enough room. The Town Center of Aurora is able to fit a mat and spectators will be able to watch from up above or in limited space at mat level.
Padilla plans to have a DJ playing music and announcing the wrestlers at each weight class and will also mix in Hinkley’s Senior Night celebration during the event. Unlike a tradition dual match, the weight classes will be mixed all will be varsity matches.
The Thunderbirds feature Emery Bemis, who is currently ranked No. 6 in Class 5A at 170 pounds according to On The Mat, while the Far Northeast Warriors have 5A’s No. 11-ranked heavyweight in Jason Reyes.
Town Center of Aurora is located at 14200 E. Alameda Ave.
Courtney Oakes is Sentinel Sports Editor. Reach him at 303-750-7555 or [email protected] Twitter: @aurorasports. FB: Sentinel Prep Sports