Soroco High School
Steamboat Springs Soroco wrestling coach Jay Whaley knows what it is like to walk into the Colorado High School State Wrestling Championships.
He did it three times in the 1990s as a wrestler, and on Wednesday night, he was helping prepare a new generation for state high school wrestling championships, which will open in Denver on Thursday.
“There’s nothing like it in high school sports,” Whaley said about the tournament. “I wish I knew something to say to calm their nerves, but I don’t think there is any way to prepare for what this tournament is like. The only thing I tell them is that the mat is the same size as it is in our wrestling room, the matches are the same amount of time, and their opponents will come at them with the same moves that they’ve seen all year. ”
Whaley said he will encourage his wrestlers to stay focused on one period and one match at a time. He said the key will be for the Soroco wrestlers to continue to move throughout the match and attack the entire six minutes.
No. 12 Soroco's Colton Martindale (21-16) vs. No. 5 Yuma’s Aaron Aagesen (29-7)
Martindale, a junior, said he is not familiar with the Yuma wrestler and plans to stick to the same things that have brought him success this season.
“I’m just going to go out there and wrestle like I would wrestle any other guy. I’m going to approach this tournament just like I would any other tournament. It’s the same, only bigger,” Martindale said.
No. 8 Ram’s Cody Constine (18-14) vs. No. 9 Wray’s Jonas Cure (13-6)
Last year, Constine traveled to Denver to watch the tournament, but this will be the junior’s first chance to compete for a title.
“It’s a big tournament. They don’t get much bigger than this one,” Constine said. “I’m going to wrestle like I would wrestle in any other tournament. I’m going out there to win.”
To reach John F. Russell, call 970-871-4209 or email jrussell@SteamboatToday.com
Hayden High School
The Hayden High School wrestling team did just about as good as it could have at the regional tournament last week. The Tigers will have five wrestlers compete at the Colorado High School State Wrestling Championships.
The event begins Thursday afternoon with preliminary matches and continues through Saturday night with championship matches at the Pepsi Center in Denver.
Hayden has lots of inexperience — only two wrestlers have been to state. The Tigers, however, should have an opportunity to walk away with some hardware. A look at the five wrestlers heading to state.
No. 15 Hayden’s Judd Magee (13-10) vs. No. 2 Highland’s Jakeob Trujillo (35-7)
Magee, a freshman, will be making his first trip to state. He has a tough opening round match with No. 2 seed Jakeob Trujillo from Highland. After missing the opening three tournaments of the year, Magee said his confidence built as the season went on.
“I knew all along I could wrestle at this level,” Magee said. “I’d love to place. To do that as a freshman is a goal.”
No. 15 Hayden’s Tanner Guire (27-16) vs. Swink’s No. 2 Austin Coy (18-0)
The sophomore will be going to the state tournament for the first time in his career. He advanced in a wrestle-back at the regional tournament, a match he said should prepare him for Denver.
“The feeling of making it is a whole lot better than the feeling of not making it,” he said.
No. 13 Hayden’s Kent Miller (26-13) vs. No. 4 Center’s Gustavo Nungaray (27-13)
After qualifying for last year’s state meet at 113 pounds, Miller moves onto his second state tournament. His regional wrestling bracket was loaded, and he said his second year at state wrestling should be much better.
“I won’t be as nervous as last year,” he said. “You’re never as nervous as your first time.”
No. 15 Hayden’s Taylor Lewis (19-9) vs. No. 2 Eads' Taylor Weirich (36-0)
Lewis, a sophomore, will be going to his first state wrestling tournament. He has one of the toughest opening matches of the tournament but said he’s confident. His confidence grew throughout the season, culminating at the regional competition.
“I’m just going to wrestle my own match,” he said. “It’s like the playoffs. Anything can happen.”
No. 2 Hayden’s Ryan Domson (10-0) vs. No. 15 Holyoke’s Astolfo Rojo (15-15)
Domson, who overcame a knee injury this summer, will enter the state tournament as Routt County’s best shot at a state championship. Top seeded Terrell Stafford beat Domson in overtime his sophomore year and beat him 4-2 last year. Domson picked up a big win in the regional finals, beating Paonia’s Morgan Reider. Last year in the state tournament, Reider beat Stafford. Domson, despite limited action this year, said there is only one goal:
“The goal is to win state," he said.
To reach Luke Graham, call 970-871-4229 or email lgraham@SteamboatToday.com