Steamboat Springs Houston Mader's thrilling come-from-behind victory in the final seconds of the 140-pound title match in Sargent on Satur-
day highlighted a strong showing by the Steamboat Springs High School wrestling team.
"It was a typical Houston Mader match," Steamboat coach Sean McCarthy said. "Very low scoring and very exciting."
Mader was down 2-1 with 15 seconds left in the third period when he made his move on Antonito junior Andrew Abeyta. Abeyta, a state qualifier last season and the No. 1 seed in the Sargent Invitational, resisted the takedown. But Mader kept working, and after the buzzer signaled the end of the match, the referee awarded Mader two points.
The 3-2 victory gave the Steamboat wrestler the tournament title, and it proved to be one of several top results for the Sailors at the early-season tournament.
Steamboat placed four out of the six wrestlers who traveled to the tournament.
"This was a great showing for our team," McCarthy said. "We are off to a great start this season. Our upperclassmen are finding the podium, and our younger wrestlers are discovering that they can be competitive."
Other top finishes included A.J. Carmack's second-place finish at 145 pounds, and third-place finishes by Derek Morris at 119 pounds and Cody Harris at 171 pounds.
Johnny Strange, 125 pounds, and Ben DeLine, 152 pounds, also traveled to Sargent but lost in the early rounds.
The Steamboat team will travel to West Grand this Saturday for the final tournament before the holiday break. The team will then take off through the first week of January.
"The holidays are tough," McCarthy said. "We all hope that the guys will come back in top shape, but we all tend to come back a little fatter and happier - including the coaches."
McCarthy said the team usually has to take a couple of steps back after the break, but he said that's typical for all the teams in the state.
He said he is very pleased with the team's progress this season and expects things to move quickly once the Sailors resume competition in January.