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RBC — “I’ve never seen the scoreboard on our side when we wrestled Meeker,” Rangely’s head coach Jeff LeBleu said after his Panthers defeated the Cowboys 15-48 last Friday in Meeker. It was the first time the Panthers have beat the Cowboys under LeBleu’s tenure.
The last time the Panthers beat the Cowboys in a wrestling dual was 2000.
Rangely senior Stephan Boleng started the dual with a pin against freshman Tory Green at 125. Sophomore Travis Witherell went up a weight to weight to wrestle Meeker’s Nick Smith at 140 and won a close match 4-2.
Meeker got six points from senior Josh Prescott after he pinned Ryan Cramer in the 145-pound match. Rangely’s Christian Holcomb got the Panthers back on track with a 5-2 win over Andrew Aldridge at 152. Keane Raley followed with a second period pin against Meeker’s J.C. Chintala and Nick Halcomb pinned Meeker’s Aaron Webster in the 171-pound match.
Meeker’s Dillan Pearce defeated Michael Dillon 9-6 in the 189-pound match and Rangely’s Ralph Carabajal earned six team points with a forfeit at 215, as did Devon Rose at 103.
Meeker’s Jared Doll and Rangely’s Ryan Petty wrestled a close match at 112, with Doll winning 5-4. Doll’s teammate Clint Sampson and J.C. Chumacero were tied at four at the end of three periods, sending the match into overtime, where Sampson earned a takedown to win the final match of the evening.
“Our kids are battling and that’s what I’m asking them to do,” Meeker’s head coach Willy Theos said. “Our skills and conditioning are improving, we need to keep working on the mental aspect of the sport.”
The Panthers are currently ranked fifth by On the Mat Rankings. The Grand Valley Cardinals, Meeker’s opponent the night before the Rangely dual, are the No. 1 ranked 2A team in the state.
The Cowobys won five of the nine matches wrestled against the Cardinals but lost he dual 27-39.
“Duals come down to match-ups and the score was close because we matched up better with Grand Valley,” Theos said.
Doll, Prescott, Webster and Pearce all pinned their opponents and Sampson won 10-8 agasint the Cardinals.
Meeker parents will be honored Saturday before the final duals of the season against Hotchkiss and Glenwood Springs, starting at 5 p.m.
The Panthers will not wrestle again until the regional tournament, at Grand Junction High School Feb. 15 and 16.