RANGELY | The Panther wrestlers traveled to Oak Creek for a couple of duals against the host Rams and the Hayden Tigers last Friday and the Soroco (South Routt County) Invitational the following day. The Panthers will compete in another tournament this Saturday in Kremmling.
Rangely head coach J.C. Chumacero said only five matches were wrestled Friday and they “failed to come away with a win,” against Soroco and Hayden.
“After a good night’s rest and a good talk from the coaches and team captains Tytus Coombs and Justin Rusher, the team really picked it up the next day,” coach Chumacero said. “We wrestled hard and inspired through the whole day.”
Coombs and freshman Zane Varner both entered the same bracket and met in the championship match, with Coombs winning the Panthers’ only gold medal.
“Zane went 4-1 on the day, with his only loss coming from his teammate, who went 5-0,” coach Chumacero said.
Chumacero said Rusher lost “a heart breaker” in the semifinals, which went into triple overtime.
“I think that match mentally and physically drained him as he just didn’t seem himself in his third match of the day,” Chumacero said. “I am extremely proud of Justin, as he puts in 110 percent every time he steps on the mat.”
Coach Chumacero said freshman Braxton Moore went 2-2 on the day and he earned his first high school medal, with a fourth place finish, as did classmate Dontea Pearce.
“One of Dontea’s losses went to senior Jace Logan from Soroco, who is a three-time state finalist,” Chumacero said. “I like seeing our guys square off against these type of competitors because it shows us what it takes to be at that level and helps us learn.
Bryron Mackay, Dalton Dembowski and Brent Cantrell all wrestled in round-robin brackets and Mackay and Dembowski both won bronze medals.
“I am very proud of all the guys this weekend and I hope we can bring the same intensity next weekend, when we compete in West Grand,” Chumacero said.
By BOBBY GUTIERREZ | Special to the Herald Times