MEEKER I “It was a good confidence builder,” is what one of Meeker High School’s wrestlers told head wrestling coach J.C. Watt of the week’s competition.
The Cowboys, currently ranked No. 2 in 2A state rankings by On the Mat Rankings, thumped Moffat County on Jan. 15 in their first home dual of the season, then easily won the Vern Rose Memorial Tournament in Rangely on Saturday, crowning seven champs.
“We had a really big crowd for the Moffat County dual, which made it fun for the kids, and they wrestled well,” coach Watt said.
Five Cowboys pinned their Bulldog opponents, one won by a major decision and two won by decisions to make the final score 49-21.
Tristin Pelloni (126), Kylloe Goedert (132), Casey Turner (152), T.J. Shelton (170) and Caleb Bradford (182) all pinned their opponents. Sheridan Harvey (120) won 17-3 while Chase Rule and Devon Pontine both won.
Pelloni, Goedert and Harvey all moved up a weight against the Bulldogs then went back to their normal weights for the Vern Rose Memorial and all won along with Anthony Watt (145), who is back from an illness, Chase Rule (160) and Pontine. Pontine pinned his opponent in the finals in 16 seconds. Shelton did not wrestle.
Goedert was voted the outstanding wrestler in the lower weights and Turner was given the same award for the upper weights.
Jacob Pelloni (106), Hunter Garcia (138) and Jake Henderson (160) all finished as runners-up. Josh Cochran was third at 138 and Bradford placed fourth at 182.
Garrett Frantz (113), Christopher Strate (113), Nick Burri (132) and Cody Nielsen did not place. Neither did Dillon Frantz, who was injured after winning his first match and had to withdraw from the tournament.
The Cowboys will take their show on the road this week, wrestling Norwood and Hotchkiss on Friday before competing in the Screaming Eagle Tournament on Saturday.
“Norwood (currently ranked No. 3 in 2A) will be tough, and the tournament in Paonia will be a preview of the regional tournament,” Watt said of the upcoming competition.