Panther wrestlers exceed expectations

RANGELY I With the pre-holiday part of the schedule completed, first-year wrestling coach Derek Stolworthy is pleased with his team’s progress and says his young team is “exceeding expectations.”
The Panthers are led by seniors Blake Wanstedt, Chad Peterson, Cole Barlow and Bo Armstrong.
“Blake is looking like a man on a mission and is competing at a very high level,” Stolworthy said of one of his team captains. “Blake is extremely aggressive on his feet, has constant movement on bottom and rides on with the best of them.”
Peterson moved up five weights from last year and according to his coach is having to learn a different style of wrestling.
“By regionals, I know Chad will have adapted to his new weight and turn some heads,” Stolworthy said.
Barlow placed sixth at the prestigious Warrior Classic last week and went 5-0 at the Mesa Duals, held two weeks ago.
“Cole is an explosive, intelligent wrestler who is looking for that top place on the podium at state,” Stolworthy said of the senior captain.
Coach Stolworthy is also pleased with senior captain Bo Armstrong who won all five of his matches at the Mesa Duals.
“Bo knows how to rise to the level, having already qualified for state twice,” Stolworthy said. “We are looking for great things from Bo at state this season.”
First-year wrestler Taran Smedley is “young and underweight” but has already won two matches at 103. Sophomore Joseph Stults won four matches and the Roosevelt Duals at 112.
Freshman Lucas Heinle is wearing the varsity uniform at 125 and won three matches at the Warrior.
“Winning three matches at the Warrior as a freshman is outstanding,” Stolworthy said.
Sophomore Colton Coombs is the Panthers’ 145-pounder and Zakk Wenzel is giving up 10 pounds but wrestling every match at 160.
Junior Patrick Brown is Rangely’s heavyweight and a “physical force,” for the Panthers.
“Patrick is big and athletic and with some experience and determination, he can make it to state and surprise a lot of people,” Stolworthy said.
Also wrestling for the Panthers are Jon Jackson, Trevor Brown and Drew Collins. Team managers are Bobby McCann, Dakota Kenney and Blade Rose.
Claude Rose and Robbie Morgan are assisting Stolworthy with the coaching duties and the head coach is thankful to former Panther wrestlers Travis Witherall, Ryan Cramer and JC Chumacero for their help in the wrestling room.
“I would personally like to thank all of Rangely’s parents for their support,” the first-year head coach said.