MEEKER | The late Bill Turner, was Rio Blanco County’s first state wrestling champion, winning an individual title for the Rangely Panthers in 1958, then coaching Meeker’s first state championship team in any sport in 1979. Now two of his grandsons have continued the tradition, one becoming Meeker’s first elementary school state wrestling title and the other becoming Meeker’s second middle school state champ (TJ Shelton was Meeker’s first, when he was an eighth-grader).
Nine wrestlers from Meeker qualified for and competed in the Colorado elementary and middle school state wrestling tournament in Denver last weekend and while several won matches, only Connor Blunt and Kelton Turner placed.
“It was a really good way for Kelton to finish his junior high career,” Barone Middle School coach Todd Morris said of Turner who completed his eighth-grade season undefeated.
Meeker fourth-grader Dylan Hobbs also qualified for the state tournament but he did not win a match in the 65-pound division.
Trae Kennedy won three matches but did not place in the 80-pound middle school bracket, Ty Goedert won two matches in the 85-pound bracket, as did Parker Pontine in the 160-pound division. Tyson Portwood won a match in the 130-pound bracket and Zach Eskelson won one in the 152-pound bracket and Tanner Musser lost two in the 160-pound bracket.
Blunt won three matches in the 112-pound class and Turner won four to win the 140-pound division, to continue the family tradition of winning state titles. Kai Turner was on the 1979 state championship team and his son Tyrell won an individual title in 2003. Keenan Turner won three individual state titles in the 1980s. Kelton’s dad Coley Turner won a state championship 1988, his brother Casey won a title as a junior and was a member of a state championship team two years ago. Blunt’s cousin Sheridan Harvey won a state title in 2017.
“It is going to be fun watching these eighth-grade boys in high school, the next four years,” Morris said. “Thanks to all the parents who got the boys to Denver and coached them.”