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MEEKER | Hosts of the CHSAA 2A Region 1 tournament, the Meeker Cowboys will send six boys to the “Big Show.”
Ty Goedert (113 pounds), Trae Kennedy (120), Connor Blunt (145), Kelton Turner (160), Brendan Clatterbaugh (170), and Colby Clatterbaugh (195) are the 2021 Meeker Cowboy State Wrestling qualifiers.
“Generally we wrestled really really well,” commented head coach JC Watt. “Some of our guys over performed but all of them wrestled well.”
Meeker had seven kids in the finals, “in any year that is really good,” said Watt. If the wrestlers just win one match they will place as the state tournament will only have 8-person brackets. “All of them have a chance to win it,” said Watt, “it was hard to get here but they will go even further now that they did.”
The state tournament will be a double elimination tournament and according to Watt, “it is as we expected” from the wrestlers attending from other regions.
To recap regionals and look forward to state:
Goedert, who placed second and then won the challenge match, will be making his third trip to state as a junior, “He has a really good chance of making it into the finals,” said Watt.
Kennedy also took second and then won a really tough challenge match to take true second. Kennedy placed last year and is looking to do so again.
Owen Hanneman (126), did not place but wrestled two weight classes above normal.
Tyson Portwood (132) lost in a really tough match in round one to Chism from Rangely.
Kaden Franklin (138) had a bye round one then lost in round two placing him in the consolation bracket. He then won one round in that bracket before losing to Gardner from Lyons.
Blunt took first place in a bracket that consisted of four other boys ranked in the top 11 of the state. “Connor has a returning state placer in his weight at state, but I expect he will wrestle really well,” commented Watt.
Trinden Powell (152) wrestled Murphy from Hayden who ended up taking second in the tournament for his first match of the day. Losing to Murphy he moved to the consolation bracket were he went won in round one and then lost a tough match that went the full time, losing 6-0.
Turner will be making his first appearance at the state tournament. “He wrestled tough and had a good wrestle back,” said Watt.
B. Clatterbaugh had one of the toughest weight classes at regionals and faced number one Kody Logan in the finals. Clatterbaugh went the full distance losing by major decision 13-0. Clatterbaugh took second with no challenge match as he had already beat Mathews of Mancos 11-5.
Dax Sheridan took second but then lost in his challenge match to Fury from Mancos. “It was heartbreaking to to have him lose,” commented Watt, “losing in a challenge match after getting second is a hard way to finish.
C. Clatterbaugh will “hopefully be in his second state finalist match for his high school career,” said Watt. Clatterbaugh’s weight will definitely be a “good one to watch,” according to Watt. There are two state finalists in his bracket at state. Clatterbaugh is ranked number two in the state. He went into regionals ranked number one in region 1 and ended in the top spot.
Judd Harvey was unable to wrestle due to a medical issue, but as a freshman has three more years to get there. “It was too bad Judd wasn’t able to wrestle,” said Watt. “He has learned a lot and grown as a wrestler this year.”
Tanner Musser (285) had a tough tournament. The heavyweight bracket skipped round one as there were not enough wrestlers, Musser won round two but then in the semifinals he met Sanchez of Cedaredge who went on to win the tournament.
“Overall we had a great year and I expect a lot from the kids who are making the trip to state.” wrapped up Watt.
The state tournament will be a one day tournament in Pueblo, Colorado. Each wrestler is allowed to have two family members attend, no other spectators will be allowed. The tournament will begin for class 2A on Friday at 9 a.m., and finals are scheduled for 7:15 with the parade of champions at 7. It will be broadcast on the NFHS Network.
By TIFFANY JEHOREK – Special to The Herald Times