MHS wrestlers start season at Hotchkiss

MEEKER I The Cowboy wrestling team will open the season Saturday, competing in the Bulldog Invitational in Hotchkiss, with seniors Pat Love and Mark Papez leading the team.
“I look for Pat to be our main leader, the one who gets the guys in the right frame of mind and gets things rolling for us,” second-year head coach Joe Gutierrez said.
Papez joined the high school team for the first time this year, as did lone junior Caleb Dodds.
“I wish they would have made the choice to wrestle before, but we are happy to have them in the room,” Gutierrez said. “We’ll work with what we have.”
The Cowboys also return sophomores Collin Cochran, Justin Hardy and Ethan Overton, all with varsity experience but will be wrestling without classmates Ean Barrow and Christopher Ruckman.
Barrow has a broken leg and Ruckman was injured during football season.
“It’s going to be tough without them,” Gutierrez, who will be again will be assisted by Sam Love and Lee Overton, said. “We looked for good things out of both of them. We hope they get healthy, of course and we probably won’t get Christopher back but we can always look for the positive.”
Freshmen JR Crawford, Cody Pfau and Logan Piper are also out for the team and everyone will wrestle this weekend.
“We’ll find out what we need to work on with our younger kids and we hope to see improvement from our sophomores,” Gutierrez said.