Prep wrestlers ready to go |

Prep wrestlers ready to go

Phil Sandoval

At Rifle High, wrestling-wise, light is might.

“We’re strong in the lighter weights and light in the upper weights. That’s different for us,” said fifth-year coach Jim Suminski of the Bears who, along with area teams Basalt and Grand Valley begin the 2003-04 prep season this week.

Most of Rifle’s 30 wrestlers out for the this year’s team fall between 103-160 pounds, Suminski said.

And, it figures that all five of Rifle’s returning state meet qualifiers fall within those weights.

Senior Jesse Long and Casey Dunlap, a junior, anchor the middle weights. In the post-season both wrestlers were fourth at the Rocky Mountain National tournament in Denver at 160 and 152 pounds, respectively.

Long is tabbed to wrestle at 160, but could be shifted to 152 pounds. Dunlap, according to Suminski could settle in at 152, 160, or 171 pounds.

Rifle’s other returning state qualifiers are junior Eddie Kreimier, sophomore Luke Wooten and senior Cody Ward.

Kreimier and Wooten have each moved up a weight class this year. Kreimier will wrestle at 112 pounds and Wooten at 119.

Ward returns to his familiar spot at 130.

Another key veteran will be senior Rodney Long at 125, who qualified for the state meet as a sophomore.

The biggest question for Rifle heading into the Middle Park meet is who will wrestle at 103 and 140 pounds.

Currently, five wrestlers are contending for the 103 spot. Among them, freshman Tom Hooper has shown the most skills at practice, Suminski noted.

But Hooper will face stiff challenges from Brandon Whittington, brothers Alex and Adrian Avila and Cameron Davis for the starting role.

There’s also a two-person battle in the practice room for the 140-pound starting role between junior Garrett McCormick and sophomore Jonathan Terry.

That’s not the case at 145 where junior Tyler Kosht has secured the early-season starting berth.

Andy Stone, up from the junior varsity, will be Rifle’s heavyweight wrestler. After a two-year hiatus from the sport, senior Mike Hurd is penciled in at 189 and first-year wrestler David Barrier, a senior, has been give the nod as the Bears’ 215 pound starter.

“We have good kids and they’re really pushing each other,” said Suminski. “In tournaments we should do real well, but in dual meets we might be giving away some points in the heavier weights.”


After struggling the past few seasons with low turnouts, Longhorn coach Rob Grumley has the highest number of wrestlers to work with in his six years at Basalt.

Grumley said he has 17 wrestlers in the workout room. And, the competition for starting spots should help boost the program.

“I’m excited to start the year with good numbers,” Grumley said. “We have kids who want to be there and it looks like guys are going to have to battle to wrestle this year.”

To help speed Basalt’s improvement, Grumley has four senior letterman to turn to for team leadership.

Kaleb Nye gives the Longhorns stability at the middle weights.

Grumley said Nye will either wrestle at 160 or 171 pounds. Cody Hansen gets the nod at 152 and veterans Chris Black and Roaring Fork student Garrett Jammeron are slotted for action at 140 and 189 pounds, respectively.

A fifth senior, Mike Buster, has come out for the team after taking last year off. Buster, according to Grumley, will wrestle at 215 pounds.

Six Glenwood High students are also a part of Basalt’s roster.

Junior Brad Kline along with freshman Justin Davis fills the void in the lighter weights. Grumley sees Kline wrestling at 103 or 112 pounds with Davis shifting between 119 and 125.

Juniors James Nelson and Matt Aten, a transfer from Nevada, will battle for starting berths at 130 and 135 pounds with Rob Bogue, a junior from Colorado Rocky Mountain School, a transfer from Kentucky.

GSHS sophomores Jeff Seaver and Mike Zerfoss are battling for the No. 1 heavyweight position.

The students from CRMS, Glenwood and Roaring Fork wrestle for Basalt because their respective schools do not field a team.

Basalt opens its season Friday in Gypsum for a dual meet against Eagle Valley.

Grand Valley

The numbers continue to rise slowly for the Cardinals.

Head coach Rick Gallegos said he has eight solid wrestlers ready to begin the 2003-04 season.

“We’ll be a little better this year,” Gallegos said of the school’s second-year wrestling program.

Grand Valley has one returning state qualifier back in Jesse Neely, a 112-pound senior.

Others aiming at obtaining a state Class 2A berth include returnees Matt Morgan, a 145-pound junior, De Beque High students Cash and Chance Beckett, who weigh in at 160 and 171 pounds, respectively, and sophomore Justin Busch, who moves up to 135 this year.

The coach also has high hopes for freshman Danny Manzaneras, a 130-pounder, who wrestled at St. John Middle School last year.

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