Most Sundays since Adams City head wrestling coach Jared Deaguero can remember, he has attended the “family dinner” with the rest of the Deagueros in Commerce City.
Those gatherings almost always include a big meal and maybe even some culling.
“We’re going to go fight outside, or someone is going to face someone else here or there. It just becomes a part of life. You learn from an early age, that’s what we do,” Deaguero told The Post just hours before coaching a pair of Class 5A championship fights inside the Ball Arena on Saturday, involving both of his nephews, Seth and Levi.
This Sunday’s menu has already been posted to the family’s Facebook group: steaks and tortillas with chocolate fudge ice cream for dessert to complement two more state titles that bring the grand total to 13 across the family lineage.
The Deagueros are Commerce City’s premier wrestling family. Jared’s grandparents, Tony and Frances, had 10 children, and their love of the sport began in the 1970s, after the older two, Gerald and Tom, first wrestled for the program (Tom was later inducted into the National Wrestling Hall of Fame in 2020).
The first state title came from Gary, the second youngest of the 10. Since there, Tom’s two sons, TJ and Jared, have won a total of four titles, their cousin Joey being a three-time champion. Scott Hewitt, another cousin, added two.
On Saturday, Levi’s twin brother Seth contested his first at 150, but fell short in a 10-5 loss to Pomona’s Vincent Cabral. Next at 157 pounds was Jared’s cousin Daniel Long who secured his first title with a snap win by two points in overtime over Rock Canyon’s Sammy Mobly. Ultimately, Levi secured his second state title with a 3-2 third period victory at 165 pounds over Pomona’s Dante Hutchings. He was able to high-five every person in the front row of seats, almost all family members.
“My heart is pounding right now, but I feel alive,” Jared Deaguero said after coaching thrilling victories. “My message was do what you have to do, score one point ahead of them.”
With Saturday night’s two wins, according to Colorado wrestling historian Bob Smith, the Deagueros tied for the most titles by one family in state history with Olathe’s Gray family (13).
The Collins brothers from Wray, Brady and Austin also aimed to add to their vast family heritage as they competed in a pair of 2A Finals. The elder Brady became a three-timer with a pin over Crowley County’s Dillion Bufford at 138 pounds, while Austin, a freshman, finished just short of it and finished second at 106 pounds in a 3-2 loss. Their family, which began with the surname Keeler, is now eight state crowns away after Saturday night.
“It’s really special to be a part of this program right now, it’s more than just a family legacy,” said Greg Collins, Brady’s father, ahead of the final meeting.
But how deep does the sport go? Seth and Jared had another little cousin, Hayden, present for his first experience at the state championship on Saturday night.
He was born in December.
“He was born just before Christmas and now he’s here. We’re literally always around wrestling,” Seth said.
When there’s a name like Deaguero in the brackets, other wrestlers can look forward to a fight. However, fighting that name on this stage is a different kind of pressure.
Jared is a three-time collegiate All-American and national champion. He won an NCAA Division II national title at Adams State in 2008. His time at the state tournament goes back even further. He first wrestled at the state tournament at McNichols Sports Arena and started wrestling at what is now called the Ball Arena as a junior and senior. For him, the state tournament is a home away from home, and keeping the tradition alive at family dinners is also extremely important.
“There’s definitely a pressure that comes from the name. You honestly learn to deal with it from an early age. We fight for it,” she said. “…He makes me proud and excited for the future, for my family. It’s a big responsibility to be the manager, raise him and keep him, but I embrace it.
For Commerce City’s premier wrestling family, the Ball Arena stage is an opportunity to further etch the Deaguero family name in state tournament history.
“Regardless of the result, if we placed first or second or we didn’t even place, we will all get in the stands and embrace each other as if we were all first”. Levi Deaguero said.
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