Wednesday, January 28, 2004
Steamboat, Hayden and Soroco will take to the mats against each other tonight in the annual Routt County Triangular.
This year, Hayden will play host for the 6 p.m. double-dual meet, in which each team will face the other two for county wrestling supremacy.
The Tigers are the favorite to win because they have more wrestlers and a more experienced lineup top to bottom, but that doesn't mean the Sailors and Rams simply will concede matches to the home Tigers.
"They are your neighbors and you're always most competitive with the town next door and that's been the tradition all along," Steamboat coach Jay Muhme said. "They were always in different leagues, but it doesn't make any difference."
Muhme grew up wrestling for Steamboat in the late 1960s and early 1970s when the Sailors cleaned up not only in Routt County but statewide.
Times have changed, as participation numbers at the varsity level have dropped in all three county schools, but there are still several athletes who compete at a high level and a number of youngsters hoping to rise to the occasion in the final weeks of the season.
Muhme just wants his team to be better prepared tonight than it was Friday against Rifle.
The Sailors failed to win a match against the Bears but were without two of their top wrestlers, Dave Gittleson and Walker Hammond.
"They were wrestling hard and with a lot of energy but for no points," Muhme said. "We're going to need to start turning our energy into scores and some points and that's what we're trying to work on."
Several Hayden wrestlers enter tonight's triangular off good performances at the Leadville Tournament held Saturday.
Jason Rolando took second at 189 pounds, losing in the final to No. 1-seed William Soles of Middle Park.
Heavyweight Randy Muhme wrestled to a fourth-place finish, winning two and dropping two matches.
Seth Copeland came in sixth at 145 pounds for the Tigers. Isaac Haskins wrestled unattached at 145 pounds and picked up a win before being eliminated at the Leadville Tournament.
Soroco also competed in the Leadville Tournament.