Listen to this post
MEEKER I “The off-season is when you learn the most,” said wrestling coach Barny LeBlanc when nine members of the high school wrestling team asked him to coach them in the Rocky Mountain National tournament in Denver on March 16 and 17. This tournament was different; the wrestlers were not only exposed to 2A wrestlers but 3A, 4A and 5A wrestlers from Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona, Utah, Nevada and Kansas. Despite Meeker’s tough team, the team only won 16 matches.
The real story falls to freshman Sam Lange, 123 pounds, and Jacob Henderson, 137 pounds. Lange won three matches, lost only one and took third place. Henderson lost and won two matches to earn a fifth-place finish. The importance of placing at this tournament is that Lange and Henderson wrestled on junior varsity all year and never placed in a high school tournament. The two wrestlers are great friends and have made each other better in the wrestling room by always being partners.
Meeker also placed a younger wrestler, Jacob Shelton, in the 10-and-under age group at 100 pounds. Shelton took fourth place, with three wins and three losses. Shelton is also in the top 49 percent of American wrestlers according to Track Wrestling. Calvin Shepherd, Kylloe Goedert, Aaron Cochran, JC Henderson, Devon Pontine and TJ Shelton were the other high school wrestlers to attend along with middle school wrestler Chase Rule.