Routt wrestling teams place well at West Grand, keep eye on improving

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2012-13 Rams wrestling schedule

2012-13 Sailors wrestling schedule

2012-13 Tigers wrestling schedule

— All three Routt County high school wrestling programs wrapped up their 2012 schedules Saturday at a tournament at West Grand High School in Kremmling. The event brought different fortunes for each program, but it left all three with the same realization.

“We have more to work on,” Steamboat coach Shane Yeager, speaking about his team individually but summing up the sentiment of all three.

Steamboat had two championships at the year’s final tournament.

Nathan Parks won his second consecutive tournament at 126 pounds — Yeager said it was “no surprise” — and Brandon Yeager won at 182.

“He was stronger on his feet, and he just wrestled really well in a tough weight class,” Shane Yeager said about the junior and his son. “He beat the kid who kept him from going to state last year, and he didn’t just beat him. He beat him up pretty good, 11-3.”

The Sailors also got medal-worthy performances from Dane Koepfer, who was fourth at 145 pounds, and Connor O’Brien, fourth at 170.

“It was a pretty tough tournament,” Shane Yeager said. “I’m happy with how we did. If you’d told me before the season that’s how we’d do at this tournament, I’d have been pretty happy. But I also know we’ve let some matches get away from us, so I know we still have some work to do.”

Soroco, too, came away convinced it needed more time in the wrestling room. The Rams only took four wrestlers.

Shad Covalt finished fourth in an impromptu 97-pound bracket. Andrew Schupner won his first match for the Rams at 113 pounds while Colton Martindale finished 3-2 at 120 pounds and Dillon Koler was 2-2 at 128.

“They’ve improved every week, but we still have loads of work to do,” coach Jay Whaley said.

Hayden ended up with five wrestlers who placed at the meet, none more significant than T Lane Mazzola. The Hayden senior has been one of the program’s very best throughout his entire career, but he missed the first part of the season with an injury. Saturday wasn’t his best day — he finished second, pinned in the finals at 138 pounds — but coach Chad Jones was simply excited to have him back.

“He was a little rusty, but just having his leadership back was good enough,” Jones said.

Tanner Guire went 2-3 to finish fourth at 113 pounds. Trent Gable was 3-1 at 120 pounds to place third. Journey Vreeman made the consolation final but forfeited to finish fourth rather than test a sore shoulder. Taylor Lewis, meanwhile, also had to forfeit when he hit the consolation finals and he finished fourth with a 4-2 record on the day.

“As long as we can keep this consistency, we’ll be in good shape,” Jones said. “Our guys are getting prepared. Conditioning is not quite where we’d like it, but we’re looking good. We’re getting smarter and just lacking a bit of aggressiveness in certain areas. We’ll get there.”

To reach Joel Reichenberger, call 970-871-4253 or email jreichenberger@SteamboatToday.com

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