Rifle’s Zang wrestles to sixth at 132 pounds | PostIndependent.com

Rifle’s Zang wrestles to sixth at 132 pounds

Dale Shrull
Special to the Post Independent
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
Jeff Caspersen Post Independent

DENVER – Coy Zang made the Class 3A state wrestling championship podium.

The sixth-place finish in the 132-pound division was a special achievement for the Rifle junior.

“It feels pretty good. I wish I would have done better,” he said after dropping his fifth-place match to Anthony Muth of Salida.

Rifle coach John Wisniewski said Zang’s trip to the podium was very satisfying, especially considering the youngster’s battle with nerves.

“I’m really proud of Coy. He wrestled really well,” Wisniewski said. “I know he was sick to his stomach last night. He was up all night, he didn’t sleep and couldn’t eat breakfast.”

But Zang responded with a determined effort on Saturday.

Zang said the highlight of his tournament was winning his first-ever match at the state tournament.

After dropping his first-round match, Zang rebounded with an 11-5 victory, then wins of 8-5 and 9-6 got him into the fifth-place match.

Zang was continuing a family tradition of Rifle wrestlers making the podium. He said that he’s had cousins and an uncle who all earned spots on the state wrestling podium in the past.

“That feels pretty cool,” Zang said.

Zang was the only Rifle wrestler to make the podium. Only 138-pounder Brandon Kittle won in the first round for the Bears.

Even with the lack of medals, Rifle’s coach felt good about the performance.

“We had one win the first day out of nine [qualifiers],” Wisniewski said. “We came back and had six more wins, so that was great.”

He was disappointed for a pair of seniors.

“I have really mixed feelings coming away from here. I’m really sad for our two seniors. A.J. [Cordova] tried to wrestle through a knee injury. I know he could have done a lot better,” he said.

For Kittle, the senior advanced to face Coal Ridge’s Devon Godeski in a battle to make it to the fifth-place match. Kittle dropped a heartbreaker, 6-5. Godeski placed sixth.

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