Cowboys look “confident” at Colorado Mesa University duals

MEEKER I “The kids looked confident, even with five freshmen,” Meeker Cowboy wrestling coach J.C. Watt said of his team’s demeanor after opening the season with five dual matches in the Colorado Mesa University Duals in Grand Junction. Meeker defeated Durango (48-27), Olathe (52-18) and Monticello, Utah (45-27) but lost to Delta (47-27) and Cedaredge (52-18). Only Monticello was in the same size classification as the Cowboys as all of the Colorado teams the Cowboys wrestled, were larger schools. “We were matched with similar teams, so it was really good for us,” Coach Watt said.
The Cowboys filled 11 of 14 weights, with five freshmen opening their high school careers on the varsity team. Meeker freshman Sheridan Harvey (106) was one of three Cowboys to win all five of his matches. Sophomore Devon Pontine (170) and junior Anthony Watt (145) also won all five of their matches, each had three pins. Senior Willis Begaye (152) went 4-1 on Saturday, with all four of his wins coming by pin. Junior Calvin Shepherd pinned two of his opponents at 113 and also has a 4-1 record after the first week of the 2013-14 wrestling season. Freshmen Chase Rule (160) and Tyler Ilgen (285) each recorded a pin in their respective weights and both have 3-2 records as does junior Tristin Pelloni (120). Sophomore Sam Lange (126) and freshman Hunter Garcia (138) also recorded pins, two and one, respectively, and both have 2-3 records. Freshman Josh Cochran’s (132) lone victory was by pin.
Meeker won 37 varsity matches in the five duals, with 21 coming by pin. Freshmen Cody Nielsen, Casey Turner, Caleb Bradford, sophomores Nick Burri, Jake Henderson and Dillan Frantz, along with senior Kelly Denny wrestled in a scrimmage in Fruita, and Coach Watt said “I think it was a really good experience for our kids.” The Cowboys were missing senior J.C. Henderson, who was interviewing with Colorado’s U.S. Rep. Scott Tipton about attending the United States Air Force Academy, and sophomore T.J. Shelton, Meeker’s defending state champion, who did not wrestle because of an injury. The Cowboys will compete in the Delta Panther Invitational on Saturday and the JV team will wrestle in the Rifle JV tournament. Both are bracketed tournaments.