State trips on the line as wrestling regionals begin |

State trips on the line as wrestling regionals begin

Baron Zahuranec
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
Kelley Cox Post Independent

MONTROSE, Colorado ” This is what they’ve been working toward all year ” regionals.

The Glenwood Springs Demon wrestlers will face a tough challenge in the likes of Roosevelt, Palisade and Rifle for the 4A regional wrestling tournament in Montrose today and tomorrow.

Out of 17 teams, the Demons hope to finish somewhere in the middle, coach Guy Brickell said.

“The key to us doing good, a lot comes down to the draw, where they’re seeded,” he said. “That’s as big as anything. You’ll have a decent kid and if they get the wrong draw with a former state champ, then they’ll get on the wrong side of the bracket just like that. The Glenwood boys will wrestle hard. I know that.”

The Demons will have five open weights, partly due to the long season and injury, and will take eight wrestlers to Montrose. Taylor Parsons (130 pounds) is “minute to minute,” fighting a back injury sustained during football season, Brickell said.

Going into regionals, Glenwood has one state-ranked wrestler. According to On the Mat Rankings, heavyweight Greg Orosz is sitting at fourth in his weight bracket. That could change if he sweeps through competition this weekend.

MONTROSE ” Looking to take first in Montrose, the Rifle Bears have been getting focused on the prize that sits in front of them.

The Bears haven’t won a regional tournament since the late 1990s, coach John Wisniewski said, and it’s time to change that.

“The decade of hard work, we’ll see if it’s paid off,” he added. “Knowing what regionals means, that’s what we’re working on. If you don’t show up focused, that could be it. If you come in with an offensive attitude and ready to get after it, the options are a lot greater of going to state.”

On the Mat has the Bears at No. 5 in the state in Class 4A, behind Broomfield, Roosevelt, Alamosa and Northridge.

The Bears have three wrestlers ranked at the state level, all seniors. James Conrardy is first in the state at 140 pounds, while Tad Davis (285) is second in his class and Brian Key (215) is ranked third.

“We have nine seniors that are ready to win a regional tournament,” Wisniewski said. “This is the do-or-die weekend.”

GUNNISON ” The Grand Valley Cardinals want another state wrestling title. This weekend’s 3A regional wrestling tournament in Gunnison will be the next step in the Cardinal’s quest for back-to-back championships.

Moving up from 2A this season, Grand Valley is ranked No. 4 in the state by On the Mat looking up at Centauri, Olathe and Florence.

“I know what the boys are capable of,” coach Rick Gallegos said. “If they wrestle like they should, they’ll be fine.”

Gallegos didn’t want to jinx his team by making a prediction on how the weekend would go, but wants to make sure the Cardinals keep their heads up. They were dealing with some sicknesses last week, but that shouldn’t be a problem this weekend.

The Cardinals have five wrestlers ranked in the state: Ryan Gallegos (No. 1 at 145 pounds), Jared Tonder (No. 2 at 140), Tyler Miles (No. 2 at 152), Joe Joyner (No. 2 at 285) and James Drinkhouse (No. 3 at 130).

Grand Valley has worked on fine tuning “just about everything,” coach Gallegos said of this week’s practices. “They have the same philosophy as me, just to wrestle as hard as they possibly can.”

GUNNISON ” With his first group of seniors, Coal Ridge Titans coach Rob Grumley wished this season could have been a healthier one.

“It’s bad news all around,” he said about the injury front. “We’re scratching three.”

Rylan Richards (152) is out with a strained elbow, Michael Larsen (160) has a dislocated thumb and torn MCL and Josh Alsop has been facing knee issues all year.

The remaining Titans are focusing on leaving it all on the mat this weekend.

“My biggest thing is stressing confidence,” Grumley said. “Don’t look at records, names or uniforms. You just need to wrestle to your ability and let the chips fall where they may.”

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