Wednesday, December 20, 2006
Steamboat Springs The Soroco Rams lost one of their top wrestlers just minutes before the start of the West Grand Invitational last weekend, but the team rebounded by winning two individual titles.
Justin Iacovetto broke his finger while warming up for Saturday's tournament in Kremmling, but teammates Joel Schlegel and Dennis Morgan picked up the slack for the Rams by bringing home tournament titles in their divisions.
Schlegel won the tournament title by beating Sheraton's George Gurule in the 130-pound division. Schlegel was ranked second in the state at 135 pounds but dropped down to the 130-pound class for the West Grand tournament.
Teammate Dennis Morgan followed suit by winning the title at 189 pounds. He defeated Israel Garey from Wiggins in the finals. Morgan is ranked fourth in the state at 189 pounds and is looking as if he will make a run at a state title in 2007.
The Rams took six wrestlers to the West Grand Invitational and had two on top of the podium following the event. Rams assistant coach Jay Whaley said the tournament was a great place for the team's other wrestlers to gain experience.
Iacovetto is the No. 1-ranked wrestler in the state at 112 pounds. Whaley said the compound fracture is bad enough to keep Iacovetto off the mat for the next week, but the timing couldn't be better.
"He's got the holiday break to get better, and I expect he will be ready to go when things get rolling again in January," Whaley said.
The Rams are scheduled to return to action Jan. 6 at the Paonia tournament. If all goes as planned, Whaley expects Iacovetto to be back in action along with Schlegel and Morgan.
"We are happy that those three guys are at the top in the state in their weights," Whaley said. "We've also got a bunch of young guys who keep learning and getting better every week."