Area grapplers eye state tourney berths |

Area grapplers eye state tourney berths

Jeff Caspersen
Post Independent Staff
Glenwood Springs, Colorado CO
Jeff Caspersen Post IndependentGrand Valley's David Witt, ranked third in 3A at 170 pounds in the latest On the Mat Rankings release, carries a perfect record into this weekend's 3A Region 1 tournament.

Coach John Wisniewski isn’t short on faith when it comes to his Rifle High School wrestling team.

The Bears fill 12 weight classes, and the program’s veteran frontman believes all 12 wrestlers are capable of making the state tournament.

They’ll have their chance at this weekend’s 3A Region 1 tournament in Montrose, where wrestlers from Rifle and 10 other Slope schools will duke it out for berths to the Feb. 16-18 state tournament in Denver.

The top four wrestlers in each regional weight bracket qualify for state.

“I think we can take all 12 to state,” Wisniewski proclaimed in the wake of Saturday’s 3A Western Slope League duals in Parachute. “I know they have it in them. I know they want it. They’re in control of their own destiny.”

Garfield County schools Coal Ridge and Grand Valley will also be competing in Montrose Friday and Saturday.

All three local teams have several state hopefuls.

Rifle’s top-ranked wrestlers, according to the latest On the Mat Rankings release, include Isaac Rider (No. 6 at 120 pounds), Dallas Rohrig (No. 10 at 126), Brandon Kittle (No. 5 at 138) and A.J. Cordova (No. 6 at 170).

Grand Valley’s highest-ranked grapplers include Cody Pfau (No. 12 at 106), Miguel Valles (No. 15 at 120), George Stagg (No. 9 at 132), Michael Salazar (No. 7 at 152) and David Witt (No. 3 at 170).

Top-ranked among Coal Ridge’s squad are Devon Godeski (No. 4 at 138) and Collin Carbone (No. 9 at 120).

While 3A wrestlers battle in Montrose, Glenwood Springs will make the short drive to Gypsum for the 4A Region 1 tournament. Glenwood is one of 16 teams bound for the Eagle Valley High School-hosted tournament.

The Demons boast a handful of state hopefuls. Top-ranked among them are Miguel Vega (No. 5 at 106), Hector Chagoya (No. 15 at 113), Mike Mills (No. 9 at 126) and Brian Ochoa (No. 15 at 285).

“We’ve got some kids that could go to state if they’ve got their heads on straight,” Glenwood coach Guy Brickell said after a dual with Rifle last week.

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