DeBeque’s championship Brackett |

DeBeque’s championship Brackett

Post Independent Photo/Kara K. PearsonGrand Valley's Chance Brackett wrestles Hayden's Mat Marchbanks during the Glenwood quad meet Saturday.

DEBEQUE – Chance Brackett’s body has finally caught up with his will to wrestle. That could surprise opponents as the DeBeque High School senior lines up for Grand Valley High School at this weekend’s Class 2A regional tournament at Palisade High School. “I’ve been kind of injury-prone this year,” Brackett said. “I hurt myself in the last football game of the year, then the first wrestling meet this year, I had an ankle injury. Then wrestled in one tournament and after Christmas break, got to wrestle at Paonia, then I hurt my other ankle.”Brackett wrestles for nearby Grand Valley in Parachute, because Debeque does not field a wrestling team.The injuries limited Brackett’s mat time in the regular season. But, he’s ready to go after tuning up for regionals with two pinfall victories at last week’s Glenwood quad.

“I haven’t wrestled much this year, so I’m excited about getting back into it,” he said. “I’m ready to go wrestle and see how everything holds up.”At regionals, Brackett, who competes at 189 pounds, has a formidable group of opponents waiting for him.Opponents Brackett could face this weekend at the double-elimination tournament include Tucker Lane of Nucla, the state’s No. 1 2A in the weight and No. 5 Shawn Custer from Paonia.”(Lane is) probably one of the best wrestlers in the state,” Brackett said. He lives and breathes wrestling, and he’s been pretty much untouchable this year.”Lane is unbeaten and unscored on this year. Brackett was the only wrestler to score a point on him – that occurred last season. That fact backs up Brackett’s opinion on small-school wrestling.”I don’t think people give our region or Class 2A the kind of credit it deserves for as tough as the wrestling is,” he said. “This is one of the toughest categories of wrestling that there is. Meeker, Paonia and Nucla are all in our region, and they hang with the big schools.”

The three schools Brackett mentioned are No. 1-3 in 2A, according to the most recent On the Mat state prep wrestling poll.Brackett said he and the Cardinals are ready for the tournament.”For a bunch of young guys, we’re very solid,” Brackett said. “Cody Miles is a freshman, but he’s one of the toughest kids in our region. Danny Manzanares, for a sophomore, has stepped up this year. He came through as more of a leader. And (junior) Justin Busch is solid.”The top four from each of the 13 weight classes at regionals advance to the state tournament in Denver next week. And Brackett, who reached the big show last year, wants cap his senior year off by competing at the Pepsi Center. “I have a little bit of added pressure on me because I went to state last year,” he said. “I have this pressure that I have to go again.”

Class 2A Western Regional Wrestling TournamentAt Palisade High SchoolFirst round: Friday, 6 p.m.Championship matches: Saturday, 4 p.m.Grand Valley wrestlers ranked in Class 2A top 10: No. 9 Danny Manzanares (135); No. 10 Justin Busch (145).Grand Valley wrestlers ranked in Class 2A top 10: No. 9 Danny Manzanares (135); No. 10 Justin Busch (145).

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