Even in defeat, Soroco senior Whit Gates drew applause.
After missing the first part of the wrestling season with a shoulder injury, Gates returned Saturday in Paonia. He easily won his first three matches, pinning the fifth-ranked wrestler in the state at 160 pounds in a minute.
He was up 8-2 in the championship against the state's third-ranked wrestler when he reinjured his shoulder.
Soroco coach Doug Gates, Whit's father, went out to the mat and popped his son's shoulder back in place and then directed his son from the mat.
"He was wanting to continue, and I didn't let him," Doug Gates said. "When he stood up and walked off the mat, the whole crowd stood up and applauded him. It's nice to know a kid has that much respect. He's always been an excellent competitor."
An MRI is scheduled for Monday to see whether Gates' season and prep career is finished. Gates is a two-time state tournament place-winner and a three-time state qualifier.
"He looked great," Doug Gates said. "He just dominated every match. "
Whit Gates wasn't the only Soroco wrestler to fare well at the Paonia tournament Saturday. Matt Iacovetto took second at 152 pounds. Iacovetto was up in the championship match before making a mistake and getting pinned.
Joel Schlegal placed third at 103 pounds. Dennis Morgan finished fourth at 215 pounds, and Shaye Bruggink won several matches at 171 pounds but didn't place.
The Rams' next tournament is the Western Slope League Tournament to be held Saturday in Oak Creek.
Sailors wrestle in Gypsum
The Steamboat Springs wrestling team participated in the Eagle Valley Tournament on Saturday in Gypsum.
The Sailors didn't have any wrestlers place, but freshman Ben DeLine finished 3-2 at 130 pounds, narrowly missing out on the opportunity to place.
In addition to DeLine, the following Steamboat wrestlers traveled to Eagle Valley for the Saturday tournament: Houston Mader (125), Luke Rummel (135), Marina Corcidli (140), Joey Melius (171) and Alex Centner (215).