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MEEKER | The defending state wrestling champion Meeker Cowboys opened the season last Saturday in Grand Junction with only six varsity wrestlers but they hope to double the number of varsity wrestlers Friday when they host the Buena Vista Demons at 6 p.m., then compete in the Delta Invitational on Saturday.
“It was good to get started,” Meeker head wrestling coach J.C. Watt said about officially starting competition in Grand Junction. The Cowboys also sent four wrestlers to a J.V. tournament in Olathe.
Meeker senior Caleb Bradford won all four of his matches at the duals held at Colorado Mesa University in Grand Junction, including three by pin fall, in the 220-pound division and sophomore Tannen Kennedy won three (two by pin fall) of his four matches at 126.
Christopher Strate (145), Josh Cochran (160) and Cody Nielsen (170) each won two matches and Kasey Rosendahl won a match at 138.
Meeker sophomore James Amick led the J.V., wrestlers by winning four of his five matches in the 182-pound bracket in Olathe, with all four victories coming by pin fall.
Phil Arnold (106), Nick Massey (113) and Codee Woodward (138) all wrestled in Olathe but did not win a match.
Many of last year’s varsity wrestlers played in the recent 1A state football championship game and several players will be on the mat this weekend. Coach Watt said he hopes to fill 12 of the 14 varsity weights this weekend.
“It will be a slow start to the new year but we have a lot of wrestlers back from last year and it’s exciting,” Coach Watt said.
The Cowboys came from behind last year to take the title from Rocky Ford and Coach Watt said although they will get a late start this year, he is still believes his team will be ready when the time comes to defend the Cowboys’ title.
“We just have to be patient and realize we might not get up to full speed until February.”