Friday, February 17, 2006
Andy Morell and Houston Mader walked off the mats at the Colorado State Wrestling Championships with their heads down after going two and out.
But Steamboat Springs coach Sean McCarthy said his two wrestlers should keep their heads held high.
"They should be very proud of what they've done," McCarthy said. "Maybe not satisfied, but proud."
Morell and Mader were the first Steamboat wrestlers to make it to the state championships in four years. Regardless of their performances Thursday and Friday, McCarthy considered that a worthy accomplishment.
"They wrestled great to get here," he said. "I hope we look back at this as the starting point for this program again."
Mader, a sophomore, was out-hustled by Englewood's Bryce Penn in the first consolation round Friday afternoon. Penn earned a quick takedown in the first period. In the second period, Mader was thrown to his back with 1 minute, 30 seconds remaining. Twenty-two seconds later, Mader was pinned for the first time this season.
He walked off the mat with a look of disbelief.
"I thought I wrestled well yesterday and felt good about today," Mader said. "I don't know what happened."
McCarthy was convinced that Mader would use his first state appearance as a learning experience and motivation.
"Houston is a driven guy," he said. "He'll be back."
An hour after his loss, Mader was ready to go again.
"I'm going to go to a national tournament in two weeks," he said. "I want to wrestle all year round and come back to be a state placer."
Morell, a senior, won't have another year to prepare.
"All I could think was, 'It's all over,'" he said with dried tears on his cheeks.
Morell's strongest point this season was wrestling from the top. On two occasions Friday, Fountain-Fort Carson's Josh Lucero stepped through Morell's attempts to stay on top.
"I couldn't do anything against that guy," he said.
Morell lost 16-1.
"I wrestled well at regionals, and I'm proud to have gone to state," he said.
Mader finished the season 27-11. Morell was 26-13.