Cowboys gain confidence, improve at Tournament of Champions

For the first time this season, Meeker High School senior Garrett Frantz wrestled in the 132-pound bracket and won two matches in the competitive Tournament of Champions last weekend in Vernal, Utah. Frantz and the Cowboys will wrestle the Grand Valley Cardinals tonight in Parachute at 6 p.m., followed by duals in Hotchkiss Friday against the host Bulldogs and Norwood, then wrestle in the Screaming Eagle tournament Saturday in Paonia. Gayle Zimmerman Photo

MEEKER | The Meeker Cowboy wrestling team gained some confidence wrestling against some of the best from Utah, Colorado and Wyoming last weekend in the annual Tournament of Champions in Vernal, Utah. The Cowboys will wrestle the Cardinals tonight in Grand Valley, then in Hotchkiss and Paonia this weekend.
Meeker head coach J.C. Watt said senior Jacob Pelloni finished fourth in the competitive tournament and junior Tannen Kennedy placed fifth, the only two Cowboys to place, while James Amick was “one match away from placing.”
“Jacob wrestled really well Saturday,” coach Watt said. “He lost an overtime match Friday, then came back and wrestled really well in the consolation bracket.”
Pelloni pinned four opponents after his overtime loss and won 18-11 to get into the consolation championship match, which he lost.
Coach Watt said Kennedy “had a tough tournament,” and senior Garrett Frantz won two matches in after dropping for the first time into the 132-pound bracket.
James Amick was won two matches in the 170-pound bracket, the same number of wins Ridge Williams earned in the 195 pound bracket.
Coach Watt said several JV wrestlers won matches in the JV brackets, while Charles Curry (120) and Colby Clatterbaugh (170) both finished as runners-up in their respective weight classes.
“Our kids wrestled well and are gaining some confidence,” coach Watt said. “The JV tournament was competitive and our kids got a lot of good matches. We got better and we improved.”
Coach Watt said he would have a “better assessment” of his team after this week’s schedule, they wrestle 3A Grand Valley tonight in Parachute, then wrestle Western Slope League foes Hotchkiss and Norwood in Hotchkiss Friday before the Screaming Eagle tournament in Paonia, Saturday.
“We’ll see our whole region this week, so ask me a week from today how we are doing,” coach Watt said.