Rangely coach pleased with his team’s effort at Grand Junction

RANGELY I Even though the Panthers didn’t have anyone place in the Warrior Classic wrestling tournament last weekend, considering the level of competition, coach Jeff LeBleu wasn’t disappointed.
“That’s the toughest tournament I’ve ever been to,” LeBleu said. “Oh, man, I think there were only three 2A schools (including Rangely). The rest were 3A, 4A and 5A. But we competed, and that’s all we wanted to do was compete, and we did.
“I would’ve liked to have had someone place, but I’m not ashamed, given the level of competition,” LeBleu continued. “Everyone won at least one match, and we had three guys who were one match away from placing.”
Those three were Devon Rose, Travis Witherell and Keane Raley. Going into the Warrior Classic in Grand Junction, Rose was undefeated at 130 pounds.
“He got beat twice, but he got beat by two points,” LeBleu said. “And Travis (Witherell) lost in overtime to get into the medal round.”
The Panthers wrestled without heavyweight Kindal Cushman, who was out of town for the holidays.
“I think Kindal would’ve placed there,” LeBleu said.
Rangely also competed without its 119-, 125- and 160-pounders, due to sickness and injuries.
The situation was similar earlier in the week when the Panthers traveled to Fort Duchesne, Utah, on Dec. 15.
“We gave up 30 points because of illness and injuries, but we won the dual 41-33,” LeBleu said. “Everybody won but one in Duchesne. They only won one match on us.”
Last weekend’s Warrior Classic was the Panthers’ last competition before the Christmas break. They return to action Jan. 8 and 9 with the Tournament of Champions in Vernal, Utah.