Panthers ready to start

JoD Stults

JoD Stults
Colton Coombs
RANGELY I The Panther high school wrestling program will start the 2012-2013 season under a new, yet familiar head coach, as Jeff Heinle takes the helm this season.
“I’m really looking forward to this,” Heinle said of his new position. Heinle has been involved with the Rangely youth and middle school wrestling programs for the past 14 years. “I’ve coached many of these kids since they were little.”
The Panthers took five kids to the state-qualifying regional tournament last year, qualifying four, and have doubled their number this year, with 10 kids practicing for the upcoming season.
Rangely will return two seniors to the team, Colton Coombs and JoD Stults, both with varsity experience. Coombs qualified for the state tournament with a third place finish in the regional meet and won a match but did not place in the 152-pound bracket at the state meet. Stults wrestled part of last year before suffering a shoulder injury which required surgery and ended his season prematurely.
“Colton and JoD provide the leadership and drive we want and I look for great things from them if they stay healthy,” Heinle said.
Heinle’s son Lucas is the other Panther wrestler to return with state experience, after a fourth place finish in the region’s 138-pound bracket.
Heath Peters, Taran Smedley and Ethan Allred also return with varsity experience.
“I think we are going to be solid and we hope to take several to state,” Heinle said.
Claude Rose will be the assistant coach again and last year’s coach Derek Stolworthy and Shad Peters will be volunteer assistants this season for the Panthers. Rangely football and baseball coach Paul Fortunato will be the team’s strength coach.
The Panthers will open the season at the Colorado Mesa University Duals in Grand Junction Dec. 1.
“We’re ready to wrestle,” Heinle said.