RIFLE — Dallas Rohrig isn’t about to let an injury to his right knee slow him down. Not in his senior season with the prospects of a state championship still high.
“That’s part of the reason why I didn’t want to go to the doctor after I got hurt,” said Rohrig, who wrestles at 132 pounds for Rifle High School’s wrestling team. “I didn’t want to be told that my season was over.”
Saturday’s annual Rumble in the Rockies dual tournament at Rifle High School marked the first time that Rohrig, a past qualifier for the State Championships at the Class 4A and 3A wrestling levels, had competed in more than five weeks. The last time came when he wrestled in the annual Warrior Classic at Grand Junction Central High School in December, where he pushed through to the weight-class finals despite suffering a partially torn MCL during the 132-pound semifinals.
Five weeks later, after spending all of that time on the sideline watching his teammates compete, Rohrig looked like he hadn’t had any kind of a layoff. He won each of the four matches he competed in, with three of them coming by pin and the other by technical fall. He also got a win by forfeit. All of this with a brace on his right knee which covered a tightly wound bandage.
Rohrig was part of the reason why the Bears won each of their five duals in the eight-team tournament. Rifle beat Gunnison (69-6), Basalt (66-6), Grand Valley (63-18), Hotchkiss (53-24) and Moffat County (45-27). He didn’t, however, expect to be away from the mat this long even after the injury happened.
Rohrig has a pretty high pain tolerance — he finished fourth nationally in the National High School Finals Rodeo this past summer, after all. So when he felt something pull in his right knee during the consolation semifinals of the 132-pound bracket, he did everything he could to keep competing.
“Oh, I finished the tournament, all right,” Rohrig said with a coy smile. “I really couldn’t do much, but I finished.”
Rohrig, thanks to the doctor’s orders he was given after the injury, didn’t do much on the mat through the end of the year before easing into a training routine. Even after the diagnosis was made on his knee, there were no thoughts crossing his mind that he’d be finished for the year.
“I’m glad we came away from the doctor’s office with good news,” he said.
The tournament also brought good news to Rifle heavyweight Jose Prado, who went unbeaten with three pins and a pair of forfeit victories. Clayton Coombs also went 5-0, recording three pins and a major decision victory wrestling between 195 and 220 pounds.
Other team results included Coal Ridge beating Basalt, 38-18, but losing to Delta, 49-3. The Titans’ Cristian Keith, a returning state qualifier, was the only member of the team to earn victories in both duals.
Grand Valley also got a win vs. Basalt, 36-30. Against Rifle and Basalt, Grand Valley’s Will Hinkle earned a pair of wins, beating Basalt’s Cody Jackson by pin in 1 minute, 3 seconds, and Rifle’s Zach Wisniewski in 3:25. The Cardinals’ Bryan Hegwood also earned a win against Rifle, pinning Colton Bumgardner at 182 pounds in just 22 seconds.