Steamboat wrestling downs Summit in dual meet |

Steamboat wrestling downs Summit in dual meet

Luke Graham

Steamboat Springs junior Nathan Parks wrestles Summit County's Alex Veleta during Tuesday night's match at Steamboat Springs High School. Parks pinned the Summit County wrestler and helped the Sailors defeat the Tigers in the dual.
John F. Russell

— As the Summit County High School wrestling team warmed up in the confines of the Kelly Meek Gymnasium on Tuesday, the Steamboat Springs team was nowhere in sight. 

But up above in the wrestling room, just an hour before the dual was set to begin, Steamboat was practicing. 

"We had a rough week last week," said Steamboat coach Shane Yeager, whose team wrestled three times last week, including twice in Routt County. "We needed to put some stuff together. "We changed up practice. We had really hard practice (Monday). We had to get some butterflies out of our system."

It worked about as well as Yeager could have hoped. The Sailors beat the Tigers, 39-30, on Tuesday in a dual and won four of the six head-to-head matches. 

"We worked a lot on our feet and takedowns," said Nathan Parks, who pinned Summit's Alex Veleta at 120 pounds. "We really went over how important it is for your morale and how important it is to your opponent's morale."

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Steamboat also got wins at 126 pounds from Dylan Parsons, 138 pounds from Dane Koepfer and 160 pounds from Connor O'Brien. 

Although Steamboat led in the head-to-head matches, it wasn't until O'Brien took the mat during the last match that things were decided. 

Steamboat entered the match up 36-30, and a Summit pin would have sent the match to tiebreakers. 

But O'Brien made sure that wouldn't happen. 

"I thought I was supposed to wrestle another kid, one of their real good wrestlers," O'Brien said. "I just used that energy and put it into that match. I was looking up and knew it was two to two. Our coach was telling us that we needed me to win this."

The match kicks off a big couple of weeks for Steamboat. The team travels to Oak Creek at 5:30 p.m. Thursday for the Routt County Triangular with Hayden and Soroco. 

Then, on Feb. 11, the team travels to Eagle Valley for the regional meet. 

"We're going to keep wrestling hard," Yeager said. "We're not taking any time off. We're going to wrestle hard up to (Soroco) and past that. We're going to put it all together next week and take it to regionals."

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

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