Bears bring home collection of state medals | PostIndependent.com
YOUR AD HERE »

Bears bring home collection of state medals

Midway through the 67th annual state high school state wrestling tournament a defeated competitor waxed philosophically about his performance. “Not every one can make it to Saturday,” the wrestler said to his teammates while exiting the Pepsi Center.

That was not the case for the bulk of Rifle’s eight wrestlers who qualified for this year’s state tournament.

Six advanced to the final day of the three-day tournament. Five left with state medals hanging around their necks.



Ryan Whittington became Rifle’s 13th state wrestling champion in school history (see accompanying story). Ryan Schoeppner and Shanon Squires earned third-place medals and fellow Bears Jesse Long and Anthony Alfini rallied after consolation bracket losses to fifth-place finishes.

Overall, the Bears finished among the top teams in the meet that went late into Saturday night. Moffat County of Craig repeated as the 4A state team champions.



“It was just awesome,” coach Jim Suminski said of the team’s taking home five state medals. “We peaked at the right time and it all came together for us.”

When it comes to peaking at the right time, Schoeppner was the centerpiece.

Schoeppner continued his streak of strong wrestling into the state tournament.

His only loss of the tournament came to Dusty Vaughn in the 152-pound championship finals.

After the defeat, the Bear junior recovered in the consolation bracket by defeating Chris Suazo of Adams City for third place.

Schoeppner earned an 8-7 decision in a wild back-and-forth battle, which turned his way in third period on a lead-changing takedown.

“It was my last match of the year, so I went all out,” Schoeppner said of his winning move.

Squires concluded his prep career with a 5-0 shutout of Delta’s James Schaefer for the 215-pound bronze medal.

“I wanted to win…more than anything,” he said of the match.

Squires started slowly, but said the scoreless tie after the first pattern is normal for him.

“Like all my other matches, I wrestled as safe as I could in the first period, then I turn it up a notch because I can outlast everyone from the second period on.”

True to his word, Squires hit the only scoring move in the second period, then sealed the win on a second takedown after earning a penalty point in the final two minutes.

Jesse Long and Anthony Alfini edged their opponents by a point in their fifth place final matches.

Long earned his 3-2 decision over Pueblo West’s Craig Maurello on a escape point with 38 seconds left in regulation to break a 2-2 tie for his 145-pound third place state medal.

In a rematch of a 189-pound second-round championship match, Alfini defeated Marcus Cox from Sand Creek for a second time in two days.

The junior took the lead with 49 seconds remaining with a rolling takedown for a 7-6 lead, that grew to a two-point lead after Cox was called for stalling.

“I won by just doing my moves,” said Alfini. “(Cox) wasn’t going to do anything,” referring to his stalling tactics, “so I had to go.”

In a 112-pound consolation match, Rifle Cody Ward rallied from five points down to a 7-7 tie against Lewis Palmer’s Josh Callahan, only to fall short against his opponent from Monument by one point.

The 9-8 loss eliminated the Bear sophomore from the 4A, 112-pound tournament.

Basalt’s Gavin Crowley lost both of his consolation matches in the Class 3A, 215-pound division, but earned a state medal by finishing sixth.

tate high school state wrestling tournament a defeated competitor waxed philosophically about his performance. “Not every one can make it to Saturday,” the wrestler said to his teammates while exiting the Pepsi Center.

That was not the case for the bulk of Rifle’s eight wrestlers who qualified for this year’s state tournament.

Six advanced to the final day of the three-day tournament. Five left with state medals hanging around their necks.

Ryan Whittington became Rifle’s 13th state wrestling champion in school history (see accompanying story). Ryan Schoeppner and Shanon Squires earned third-place medals and fellow Bears Jesse Long and Anthony Alfini rallied after consolation bracket losses to fifth-place finishes.

Overall, the Bears finished among the top teams in the meet that went late into Saturday night. Moffat County of Craig repeated as the 4A state team champions.

“It was just awesome,” coach Jim Suminski said of the team’s taking home five state medals. “We peaked at the right time and it all came together for us.”

When it comes to peaking at the right time, Schoeppner was the centerpiece.

Schoeppner continued his streak of strong wrestling into the state tournament.

His only loss of the tournament came to Dusty Vaughn in the 152-pound championship finals.

After the defeat, the Bear junior recovered in the consolation bracket by defeating Chris Suazo of Adams City for third place.

Schoeppner earned an 8-7 decision in a wild back-and-forth battle, which turned his way in third period on a lead-changing takedown.

“It was my last match of the year, so I went all out,” Schoeppner said of his winning move.

Squires concluded his prep career with a 5-0 shutout of Delta’s James Schaefer for the 215-pound bronze medal.

“I wanted to win…more than anything,” he said of the match.

Squires started slowly, but said the scoreless tie after the first pattern is normal for him.

“Like all my other matches, I wrestled as safe as I could in the first period, then I turn it up a notch because I can outlast everyone from the second period on.”

Rifle wrestling

continued on page 19

Rifle wrestling

continued from page 17

True to his word, Squires hit the only scoring move in the second period, then sealed the win on a second takedown after earning a penalty point in the final two minutes.

Jesse Long and Anthony Alfini edged their opponents by a point in their fifth place final matches.

Long earned his 3-2 decision over Pueblo West’s Craig Maurello on a escape point with 38 seconds left in regulation to break a 2-2 tie for his 145-pound third place state medal.

In a rematch of a 189-pound second-round championship match, Alfini defeated Marcus Cox from Sand Creek for a second time in two days.

The junior took the lead with 49 seconds remaining with a rolling takedown for a 7-6 lead, that grew to a two-point lead after Cox was called for stalling.

“I won by just doing my moves,” said Alfini. “(Cox) wasn’t going to do anything,” referring to his stalling tactics, “so I had to go.”

In a 112-pound consolation match, Rifle Cody Ward rallied from five points down to a 7-7 tie against Lewis Palmer’s Josh Callahan, only to fall short against his opponent from Monument by one point.

The 9-8 loss eliminated the Bear sophomore from the 4A, 112-pound tournament.

Basalt’s Gavin Crowley lost both of his consolation matches in the Class 3A, 215-pound division, but earned a state medal by finishing sixth.


Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

Readers around Glenwood Springs and Garfield County make the Post Independent’s work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.

Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.

Each donation will be used exclusively for the development and creation of increased news coverage.

 

Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.

User Legend: iconModerator iconTrusted User