Wrestlers ready for comeback

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Is he crazy?

That's what Hayden's Matt Marchbanks wants other wrestlers to ask when they see him and the new haircut he received from fellow teammate Jake Doolin -- sort of a tapered, mushroom-shaped Afro, with long hair on top and shaved around the ears.

"I want people to think I'm crazy so they'll be scared of me," Marchbanks said, running his fingers through his hair, making it even bigger at the Class 2A Region 1 Tournament on Friday at Grand Junction High School.

Marchbanks said his intimidation strategy worked on his first opponent, West Grand's Lazslo Coleman, who he pinned in 51 seconds.

Marchbanks wasn't so lucky in his second match. He lost a decision match to Orin Hainey of Dolores County.

"The second guy wasn't intimidated," Marchbanks said. "He was a lot stronger than me."

Marchbanks was the only Hayden Tiger to wrestle twice Friday. Some Hayden wrestlers had to cope with losses in their first matches. Wrestlers are eliminated if they lose their first two matches.

One of the most disappointing losses was when Hayden heavyweight Randy Muhme was pinned by Sean Boone of Dolores County in the second period. Hayden Coach John Svoboda said he expected Muhme to dominate.

"We're disappointed with Randy's loss," Svoboda said. "He's upset right now."

With the loss, the highest Muhme can place is third in regionals.

"We have to step it up tomorrow with the ones who had losses today." Svoboda said. "We will have to fight back and wrestle the best we can."

Andrew Birch lost a match to Dillon Roger of Paonia. Tyler Manzanares lost to T.J. Spitzer of Dolores County and Trevor Gann lost to Brian Swiggart of Dolores County.

"Trevor gave a great effort," Svoboda said. "He's one of our guys who has to eat just to make (the 150-pound) weight (division)."

Doolin was the only other Tiger to walk away with a victory Friday, defeating Kent Slauson of Rangely with intensity. And that victory is only fueling the fire in the already confident Doolin, who placed fifth in the state in the 140-pound division last year as a sophomore.

Also giving him an advantage tomorrow is that he knows both opponents he is scheduled to face. One of those opponents, Anthony Mestos of Mancos, pinned Doolin earlier this year, when Doolin "fell into a silly throw."

"I've seen his moves," Doolin said. "I know what he's going to do, and I'm ready for him."

-- To reach Nick Foster, call 871-4204

or e-mail nfoster@steamboatpilot.com

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