Preps hit the mats for wrestling season
For longtime Demons fans, the return of wrestling to the winter sports calendar has a Back to the Future feel to it.Glenwood Springs High Schools 1990s-era head coach, Guy Brickell, is back in charge of the program that was dropped due to lack of student interest after the 1996-97 season.
Now it is renewed interest from the current student body, said Brickell, which inspired the school to reinstate the sport.We had six kids from Glenwood wrestling for Basalt High School last year, Brickell noted. It was beginning to look like a Glenwood team that was traveling to Basalt every day.The announcement of wrestlings return to GSHS spiked the numbers up another notch.We had 20 kids show up for the first meeting last week, Brickell said. If we can keep them, well be in great shape.
Another factor was waning numbers at Basalt.There was only one kid from Basalt on last years team that was going to wrestle this year, Brickell said. Add in six-year Longhorns coach Rob Grumleys resignation due to a move to New Castle, and the wheels were set in motion for Glenwoods return to the mat.Grumley has agreed to stay on as an assistant coach this year. Joining him on Brickells staff are Miles Cook, a teacher and wrestling coach at Glenwood Middle School, and GSHS math teacher Matt Boland, who previously coached the sport at Rifle High.While response was favorable, funding for the sport was lacking.Brickell remedied that situation by hosting the Cody Brickell Memorial miniature golf tournament at the mini-golf course in West Glenwood.The community really got behind starting the program, he said. The event raised $10,000 to purchase equipment, uniforms and offset transportation costs.
The school district helped by purchasing a new wrestling mat.Cody Brickell, the coachs son, died in an automobile accident in July 2003. He was a student and a former student body president and football player at Glenwood High along with wrestling for Basalt. Guy Brickell said part of the reason for his return to coaching was a tribute to Cody.I coached the sport for 13 years, he said. I felt bad that the school dropped wrestling after I took it over, so I was happy to set it up and get it running.His plans are to stay with the program for a couple of years, then turn over the reigns to the assistants.Its a really good thing, said GSHS junior Mike Zerfoss of wrestling returning to the school. A lot of my friends want to do it. Well have a lot more people than last year.Zerfoss, who qualified for the Class 3A state tournament last year as Basalts heavyweight, is also looking forward to having some guys to work against, in the practice room.
While the team represents Glenwood and will wear the schools colors, interested students at Roaring Fork and Basalt high schools, who dont field wrestling teams, can participate, according to the Colorado High School Activities Association.Team practices will be held daily throughout the season at Glenwood Springs Middle Schools annex gym. The Demons first action will be at the Hotchkiss High School tournament on Dec. 3, and they will host their first meet in seven years a dual meet Dec. 18 against Rifles junior varsity team.
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