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RANGELY I The Rangely Panthers wrestling team ended the 2012 portion of the wrestling season with two dual meets in Utah before Christmas break and will cross the state line again when they return in 2013 to wrestle in the Tournament of Champions in Vernal, Utah, starting Jan. 11, 2013.
The Panthers traveled to Duchesne to battle Duchesne and Altamont Dec. 20, in a triangular, where the Panthers lost both duals.
Only Lucas Heinle and Drew Collins won matches against Altamont. Heinle won by decision at 152 and Collins, a senior wrestling for the first time since middle school, pinned his opponent at 220 but the Panthers lost the dual 9-66.
Rangely head coach Jeff Heinle said his team wrestled better against Duchesne, winning five of seven varsity matches wrestled but still lost the dual 30-42. Heinle and Ryan Barlow (132) lost against Duchesne opponents.
Collins, along with Heath Peters (113), Jesse Odom (138) and Caleb Lawson (145) all won their matches by pin fall and Ethan Allred won by forfeit.
“Drew also wrestled an exhibition match that he won, going 3-0 for the night, in his first competition of the year,” coach Heinle said. “I am so happy to see Drew competing after all the work he has done to make it to where he can compete.”
Coach Heinle said Taran Smedley (126) wrestled two JV matches, winning by technical fall against Altamont before losing to Duchesne. Senior Colton Coombs was ill and did not wrestle.
“Taran is getting closer to competing on the varsity team, following transfer restrictions, his first varsity competition will be on Jan. 18, when Steamboat Springs and Olathe travel to Rangely for a triangular the night before our Rangely Invitational tournament Jan. 19,” Heinle said.
Rangely will host Coal Ridge, Steamboat Springs, Meeker, Duchesne and JV teams from Fruita, Grand Junction High School, Grand Junction Central, Palisade and Olathe.
“With a team so diverse and young, we are doing well,” Heinle said. “We have two seniors, two juniors, three sophomores and four freshman. We’re not many but we’re solid. After we get back from break, we will get set in weight classes that we will be competing in for the Big Show (state tournament). We’ll be able to fill more weight classes, helping us in duals. The returning wrestlers are ready to push for excellence and hit regionals on an upward run and our younger wrestlers are excited and ready for the push also.”