RANGELY I The Rangely wrestling program hosted the Northwestern Colorado Championships on Saturday, and middle school coach Jeff LeBleu, who came out of retirement, was thankful for everyone’s help and support in pulling off a successful tournament.
Several young Panthers will wrestle in the middle school, state-qualifying regional tournament this weekend in Grand Junction, but it is not a school-sponsored event.
Eleven teams wrestled in Rangely, and the Panthers entered eight wrestlers, placed seventh as a team and half its wrestlers placed in the top three in their respective weights.
“The team wrestled well all day,” coach LeBleu said.
Tytus Coombs was the Panthers’ lone champion. Coombs won all three of his matches in the 115-pound bracket and will enter the regional tournament with a 13-1 record.
The young Panthers finished with three consolation champions, including Justin Rusher (120), Hunder Hanvey (140) and heavyweight Dalton Dembowski.
“Justin wrestled well all season long,” coach LeBleu said. “Hunter is gaining more self-confidence and Dalton is wrestling better every match.”
Coach LeBleu said Brent Cantrell won his first match of the season at 145, and Zane Varner, who “wrestled well all day,” won two matches and “was one second away from placing.”
Braxton Moore won a match in the 80-pound bracket and Dontea Pearce wrestled in the 105-pound bracket but did not place.
“Coach ‘Dirt’ Claude (Rose) and myself would like to thank the parents for the awesome hospitality room, Lynn Rusher for organizing it and Patsy Wanstedt for volunteering her time all day long in the room,” coach LeBleu said. “Thanks to Racheal Armstrong for announcing, Scott Wanstedt, Mike “Butterbean” Dillon and Travis Witherell for all your work with track wrestling, to make the tournament run as smooth as it did.”
Coach LeBleu went on to thank Kelsey Peters for doing brackets, table workers Keenan LeBleu, Ryan Torsell, Wade Rusher, Adam Heinle, Robby Elam, Mike Chism and Cisco Lucero, as well as Heather Hall for her photography.
“We couldn’t do it without them,” coach LeBleu said.