In the past six weeks, Kindergarten wrestler Cole Higgins has set the standard for Peewee wrestling in Steamboat.
He won 12 matches and lost just one during the Peewee wrestling season, which came to an end last weekend. He took titles in Rangely, Meeker, Hayden and Soroco. He also placed second in New Castle in the 52-pound class.
"It's incredible to watch these little wrestlers in action," coach Richard Atkinson said. "As in every sport, the skill level is increasing every year."
Other top Steamboat wrestlers included Colton Pasternak, who was first in Hayden and New Castle in the pre-kindergarten 31-pound bracket; and Sarah Kite, who was fourth in Hayden at 34 pounds.
Jesse James Pugh led the first-grade squad's efforts with fourth in Hayden and first in Soroco at 44 pounds. Teammate Ian Carogol was fourth in New Castle and fourth in Soroco at 50 pounds; and Sam Rossman took fourth at New Castle and third in Soroco at 59 pounds. At 60 pounds, Brian Ridel was fourth in Soroco.
Second-grader Cutter Pasternak took first-place finishes at tournaments in Hayden and New Castle in the 50-pound class. He also placed third in Rangely.
Teammate Connor O'Brien was first in Meeker and Hayden at 60 pounds. He also placed second in Rangely and fourth in Soroco.
At 56 pounds, David Kelly was fourth in Hayden, and his teammate Nick Rossman was third in Rangely, Meeker and New Castle. He placed first at Soroco and was second in Hayden.
At 64 pounds, Casey Williams was second in Hayden and third in Rangely and Soroco. He also had a fourth-place finish in New Castle. Keegan Weeks took second in Hayden and fourth in New Castle at 66 pounds.
Fourth-grader Lucy Franklin was first at the Soroco meet in the 64-pound weight division.
Eddie Brenner and Brian Moore highlighted the fifth-grade finishes this season. Brenner was first at Soroco and fourth in Rangely in the 72-pound division. Moore placed first in Hayden and second in Rangely in the 90-pound class.
Sixth-grader Dalton Romick, who wrestled at 80 pounds, was first in Soroco and second in Hayden.
Atkinson said he was happy with the way his team performed during the short six-week season. He said many of the other students wrestle in programs that stretch as long as six months.
"It's hard for us to compete against that," Atkinson said.
So next fall, Atkinson plans to start the Yampa Valley Wrestling Club. Anyone interested in participating or helping coach should call Ann Brenner at 879-0109.
--To reach John F. Russell call 871-4209
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