MHS wrestles well for hometown crowd

The Meeker wrestling team hosted the Grand Valley Cardinals Tuesday in “retro” singlets, first used in 1979, the year the Cowboys won their first (in any sport) state championship. The Cowboys did not fare so well against the Cardinals winning only two (Aaron Cochran pinned and JR Crawford won 8-1) of eight matches. Wrestling for the Cowboys this year are: Front row Willis Begaye, Kang Hee Tak, Aaron Cochran, J.C. Henderson and Kelly Denny. Ethan Overton, Ean Barrow, Justin Hardy, JR Crawford and Collin Cochran.

The Meeker wrestling team hosted the Grand Valley Cardinals Tuesday in “retro” singlets, first used in 1979, the year the Cowboys won their first (in any sport) state championship. The Cowboys did not fare so well against the Cardinals winning only two (Aaron Cochran pinned and JR Crawford won 8-1) of eight matches. Wrestling for the Cowboys this year are: Front row Willis Begaye, Kang Hee Tak, Aaron Cochran, J.C. Henderson and Kelly Denny. Ethan Overton, Ean Barrow, Justin Hardy, JR Crawford and Collin Cochran.
RBC I The Cowboy wrestling team opened the 2011 season in front of a hometown crowd and although they did not win the dual against Coal Ridge the Cowboys did win five of eight matches wrestled. Meeker and the Rangely Panthers traveled to the Tournament of Champions in Vernal, Utah and both teams found the competition tough.
“I was really pleased with them,” head coach Joe Gutierrez said of the dual meet against the 3A Titans. “I think the home crowd got them going, they wrestled tough and hard. We won some matches that could have gone the other way.”
Kelly Denny got things going for the Cowboys at 103. The freshman was behind after the first period but came back in the second and pinned his opponent with a cradle. Freshman Aaron Cochran lost by a technical fall and junior Ethan Overton returned from injury and was pinned in his match. Freshman Willis Begaye pinned of his opponent, as did junior Ean Barrow, so did sophomore teammate JR Crawford.
Junior Justin Hardy moved up two weights to wrestle the Titans’ 215-pounder and won an exciting match 6-2. Hardy’s classmate Collin Cochran followed with a pin in the heavyweight match.
The competition was too much for the young Cowboys, as only Hardy won a match in the main tournament.
“It’s tough competition over there and our young kids seemed kind of intimidated,” Gutierrez said. “Nobody seemed to workout over Christmas break and it showed. We didn’t stay for the finals like we usually do, we fed them, came home and had a practice. All these guys should be coming back next year, so hopefully they learn from this.”
The Rangely Panthers also found the competition tough in Vernal as only senior Bo Armstrong placed (eighth) in the tournament.
“Bo wrestled like he has wrestled all year, with his heart,” head coach Derek Stolworthy said. “All of the Rangely wrestlers gave it their all during the tournament.” The Panthers will host the Rangely duals Friday and Saturday, where the Cowboys are also entered.