Rangely hosts triangular Friday, tourney Saturday

RANGELY I There’s no place like home.
The Panthers will wrestle in front of a home crowd for the first time this season, hosting a triangular Friday and then following up with its invitational tournament on Saturday.
A home meet scheduled for Dec. 10 against Grand Valley was postponed because of weather. So, Friday’s triangular — against Coal Ridge and Duchesne, Utah — will be Rangely’s first chance this season to be the host team.
“Yes, we are excited,” said coach Jeff LeBleu. “It’s gonna be our first at home. It will be good to stay home and let Rangely (fans) see how good we are. We’re not bad.”
Not bad at all. The Panthers, ranked sixth in Class 2A, are coming off a 10th-place finish at the always-tough Tournament of Champions at Vernal, Utah. Nearly 30 teams competed in the tournament.
“We wrestled well, considering the competition,” LeBleu said. “We still have some things to work on, but other than that, we’re headed in the right direction.”
Rangely’s Devon Rose (130 pounds) and Kindal Cushman (heavyweight) both placed fourth at the Vernal tournament, while JC Chumacero (125) and Mike Dillon (215) finished sixth in their respective weight classes.
“I had Cole Barlow (140), Logan Osborne (145), Travis Witherell (152) and Bo Armstrong (189) who were one match away from placing,” LeBleu said. “And three of them were winning deep into the third period.”
The Vernal tournament was the Panthers’ first competition following the Christmas break.
“The guys who came in over the break and worked out were good,” LeBleu said of the voluntary workouts offered during the two-week break for the holidays. “The guys who didn’t, you could tell they didn’t come in. We have a lot of conditioning to do.”
LeBleu said the Panthers should be at full strength for this weekend’s action. Rangely will seek to defend its title in the 16-team Panther Invitational on Saturday.
“We won it last year,” LeBleu said. “We’ve won it three out of the last four years.”