RANGELY I The Rangely Middle School Panther wrestling team opened its season in Hayden on Saturday and returned with six placers, including two champions, which was more than half of the Panthers who entered.
“We are starting to rebuild our program and we have 11 kids out right now; three of them have never wrestled before,” coach Jeff LeBleu, who is very familiar with Rangely’s wrestling program, said. “But we have a couple of tough kids too.”
A couple of the “tough” kids won the Hayden tournament, a couple of them placed third and a couple of them finished fourth.
Zane Varner won the 110-pound bracket and Titus Coombs won the championship at 115. Justin Rusher was a consolation champ at 120 as was Hunter Hanvey at 140. Jake Dodd, who had never wrestled before, finished fourth in the 70-pound bracket and Dalton Dembowski placed fourth as well at the other end (heavyweight).
“We wrestled good for our first time out,” coach LeBleu said. “We’ll keep working on things and keep teaching new things, but we are excited for our young guys.”
The Panthers will wrestle next in Steamboat Springs on Saturday.