Bears feeling no pressure

Jeff Caspersen
Post Independent Staff
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
Jeff Caspersen Post IndependentCoal Ridge's Devon Godeski (head on the mat) is one of many local wrestlers headed to Denver for this weekend's state tournament.

Pressure isn’t going to an issue for coach John Wisniewski’s Rifle Bears at this weekend’s state wrestling tournament.

None of Rifle’s nine state qualifiers are ranked particularly high, so they can just take to the mats at the Pepsi Center in Denver and have fun.

“The best thing is for us to go in there with no worries,” the longtime Bears frontman said. “Not many kids are ranked really high in state, so we can go in there and have fun. They shouldn’t feel any pressure going into state. They don’t have that pressure to perform, to be No. 1.”

And, sometimes, that approach produces big results.

Just look at the National Football League’s New York Giants. With a nothing-to-lose outlook, they won a Super Bowl despite a 9-7 regular season.

Wrestling at the Pepsi Center this weekend for the Bears are Rogelio Navarro (113 pounds), Isaac Rider (120), Dallas Rohrig (126), Coy Zang (132), Brandon Kittle (138), Tony Galaviz (160), A.J. Cordova (170), Clayton Coombs (182) and Jose Prado (heavyweight).

All finished in the top four at the past weekend’s 3A Region 1 tournament in Montrose.

Six Grand Valley grapplers and a pair of Coal Ridge athletes are also headed to Denver for 3A competition.

From Grand Valley, Cody Pfau (106), Tucker Schultz (126), George Stagg (132), Michael Salazar (152), Bryan Hegwood (160) and David Witt (170) are all headed over the mountain.

Collin Carbone (120) and Devon Godeski (138) will represent the Titans.

The Cardinals’ Pfau is headed to state for the second time. Along with Soroco’s Lauryn Bruggin, she was one of the first two girls in Colorado to win a match at the state tourney in 2010. Pfau wrestled for Meeker that year.

Class 4A Glenwood Springs will have four wrestlers in action at the Pepsi Center – Miguel Vega (106), Zak Stepniewski (113), Mike Mills (126) and Brian Ochoa (heavyweight).

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