Panther wrestlers close year out with a bang

RANGELY | The Rangely Panther Wrestlers have closed out 2021 with a bang.

Over the weekend, the Panthers headed to West Grand for a pair of duals on Friday and a tournament on Saturday.

The Panthers started out a little slow with their first matchup against the West Grand Mustangs, losing the dual 38-36. Rangely won four of the seven head-to-head matchups, but gave up enough points to forfeits to fall short of victory.

Following their loss to the Mustangs, the Panthers brushed it off and came out swinging in their second dual against the Basalt Longhorns. Rangely won the dual 60-6, with Basalt’s only points coming from a forfeit. The Panthers won all seven of the head-to-head matchups via pin.

Friday’s success continued straight into Saturday’s tournament.

Rangely placed 2nd overall in the tournament, losing only to the number one ranked team in the state, Buena Vista.

Three Panthers were crowned champion in their respective weights; Kobey Chism 132 pounds, Zane Varner (152), and Byron Mackay (HWT). Mackay was recognized as Outstanding Wrestler in the upper weights for pinning his way through the tournament.

The Panthers placed a couple of other wrestlers as well; Aydan Christian (113) placed third, Braxton Moore (145) placedfourth, and Kasen LeBleu (220) placed third.

Landon Carlson (120), Colton Stevens (126), Izaiah Moody(132), and Brent Cantrell (182) all wrestled great, but fell short of placing.

Unfortunalty, senior wrestlers Alex Black and Joseph Adams were unable to compete over the weekend.

Head coach JC Chumacero was pleased with the results.

“I am extremely proud of all these young men, this was a great way to close out the year” said Chumacero. “They have been working really hard in the room and it’s great to see it pay off. I’m excited to see what the new year brings.”

After a much deserved break for the holidays, the Panthers will be competing at the Tournament of Champions in Vernal, Utah on January 7th and 8th.

Special to the Herald Times