Tuesday, November 30, 2004
Doug Gates was working the chains during Soroco's final football game of the season when Whit Gates came running toward his father, knowing full well something was wrong.
"We went to the ambulance," Doug Gates said.
The prognosis was a dislocated shoulder, which meant no wrestling until after Christmas. Whit Gates can do some rehabilitation exercises, and he can run, but the state-qualifying wrestler can't do what he wants: wrestle.
"You kind of have to watch him," Rams wrestling coach Doug Gates said. "He gets to feeling like he ought to be out there."
If everything goes as planned, Gates, who likely will wrestle at 160 pounds this season, will be back on the mats competitively at a Jan. 8 tournament in Paonia.
That means he will be able to wrestle in the Western Slope League Tournament on Jan. 15 at Soroco High School. In the meantime, he will have to cheer on his teammates at several attempt runs for the 2004 State Wrestling Tournament in Denver.
At the top of the list is senior Matt Iacovetto, a former state qualifier, looking to get back to the Pepsi Center floor in his final season. He will open the season at 160 pounds, but Doug Gates isn't sure whether he will stay there, especially if Whit Gates settles in at that weight.
Together, the two form a nearly unbeatable duo in the Western Slope. For right now, Iacovetto has to practice with someone else.
"It's kind of hard for him, I think," Doug Gates said.
The Rams have four starters back this season. Gates, Iacovetto, junior Shaye Bruggink (152 pounds) and sophomore Joel Schlegel (103), who sat out last season with an injury.
Freshmen Levi Gonzales (112) and Dennis Morgan (215) are the new additions this season. They bring a new level of excitement, but they are equally intimidated by varsity wrestling, Doug Gates said.
"We'll tell them to just learn from each match," Gates said. "Take it one day at a time. These two guys did well in junior high. I'm excited about them."
At 112, Gonzales likely will face a large number of underclassmen. At 215 pounds, however, Morgan will be up against upperclassmen who have matured and grown during the years.
"He's always wrestled big kids," Gates said.
Soroco opens the season with a home triangular at 5 p.m. Thursday against Grand Valley and Battle Mountain. The Rams then will take part in the eight-team Steamboat Tournament all day Saturday.
-- To reach Melinda Mawdsley call 871-4208 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org