Soroco knocks off Hayden in wrestling |

Soroco knocks off Hayden in wrestling

Luke Graham

— The circumstances have changed, but the feeling for Jay Whaley never will.

The Soroco High School wrestling coach remembers a time when dual matches ruled the region and created natural rivals. Soroco didn't like Meeker or Rangely and especially didn't like Hayden.

But as teams struggle to field full rosters, duals have given way to tournaments.

Although things have changed, the mutual respect and rivalry hasn't.

Soroco narrowly edged Hayden, 24-22, on Thursday, each side with limited roster slots.

Still, that feeling of beating Hayden, still burns in Whaley.

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"I love to beat Hayden. I'll be honest with you," he said. "I'm friends with them off the mat. But we grew up in an era when you beat Hayden, it was a good year. We snuck one in there."

Thursday's action was quick. Meeker was supposed to attend the tournament but canceled at the last minute because of transportation issues.

With the two teams matching up at only a few weights and Soroco earning more points because of forfeits, the Rams narrowly escaped with the win.

Hayden, however, had the advantage in matches that counted, beating Soroco 2-1.

Hayden freshman Judd Magee beat Shad Covalt at 106 pounds, 15-2.

"He scored it up there," Hayden coach Chad Jones said. "We weren't going for a pin that match. We were trying to score, score, score."

Hayden's Tanner Guire pinned Andrew Schupner at 113 pounds, and Soroco's Cody Constine beat Hunter Rummel by pin.

The match now sets up a big weekend for both schools. The two teams travel to Center on Friday for a tournament Saturday. There, the teams will see a good portion of its Class 2A region, including some of the best teams on the Eastern Slope.

Hayden, who was without a majority of its roster Thursday because of injury or illness, will take only six wrestlers.

Soroco also will take six, looking to find out where it stands — like Constine, who is second in his region to Paonia's Tyler Kendall. Constine hasn't wrestled Kendall, but Saturday could provide that opportunity.

"I think I'll probably wrestle him," Constine said. "He's just another kid. I'll take it like every other match."

The schools also return to action Thursday when Hayden hosts the Routt County Triangular that will include Steamboat Springs.

"We want people to come down and support the local wrestlers," Jones said. "It will be a fun event."

To reach Luke Graham, call 970-871-4229 or email

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