Two Panthers place first in Hotchkiss

RANGELY | After a weekend off due to a canceled tournament in Hayden, the Rangely Panther wrestling team was back on the mat this last weekend to compete at the Fight at the Fork Tournament in Hotchkiss.

The Panthers had a successful tournament, producing three champions and a third placer.

Kobey Chism at 132 lbs, Zane Varner (152) and Byron Mackay (HWT) all found themselves at the top of the podium “after a great display of skill, determination, and grit,” commented head coach JC Chumacero.

Chism and Varner were able to find redemption at the tournament, both defeating regional opponents that they had lost to earlier in the season.

Mackay also had key regional matches and had little trouble on his path to tournament gold.

“Coming away with three champions at this tournament is pretty impressive,” said Chumacero. “This tournament gave us a great look at our regional tournament and gave us some head-to-head matchups that will really help.”

Kasen LeBleu (220), after narrowly losing to the eventual champion in an exciting overtime match in the semi-finals, was able to fight his way back through the consolation side to claim third place.

Braxton Moore (145) and Alex Black (160) were both able to produce some wins but fell short of placing.

Aydan Christian (113), Landon Carlson (120), Colton Stevens (126), Joeseph Adams (145) and Brent Cantrell (170) all wrestled hard but couldn’t quite close the deal on their matches.

Izaiah Moody (132) was unable to compete due to injury.

“As we get close to the postseason, I feel as if all the young men are peaking at the right time,” says Chumacero. “Our region is always extremely difficult, and this weekend gave them all a good look at what they will need to do/work on if they wish to qualify for the big show. These young men have been working hard and I know they will continue to until the end of the season.”

The Panthers will be dualing in Hayden on January 27th before competing in a dual tournament in Grand Valley on the 29th.

Special to the Herald Times

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