Progressing through the early stages of the 2014 season, Montezuma-Cortez High School wrestlers have experienced their share of ups and downs.
Throughout the roller-coaster experience however, the wrestlers have learned lessons that might serve them well later in the season.
Opening last week’s matches against Ignacio on Dec. 12, the Panthers enjoyed mixed results.
Leading the way was 170-pound junior Seager Oliver, who remained undefeated en route to a pin. His overall record now is 9-0.
Also victorious were 132-pound junior Levi Gross and 152-pound junior Justice Ramos, who each recorded impressive pins.
Josh Ramos and Briggs Durbin fell to their foes.
As a team, the Panthers lost 45-18, in large part because of several forfeits.
IN GRAND JUNCTION
At the Grand Junction Duals on Dec. 14, the Panthers knew the competition would be tough.
Competing against Grand Junction, Glenwood Springs, Northglenn, Eagle Valley, Moffat County, Center and ThunderRidge, M-CHS wrestlers accumulated a 16-11 overall record.
Blazing his team’s path was Oliver, who, looking dominant throughout the tournament, accumulated a 5-0 record to push his season record to 14-0.
“(Oliver) is just determined,” Panthers head coach Shad Bellmire said. “He’s wrestling smart and calm. He’s not hurrying or rushing anything.”
Also posting winning records atwere Josh Ramos (4-1) and Levi Gross (3-2)
Panthers sophomore Celistino Fernandez went 2-3, Justice Ramos went 1-4 and Durbin wrestled his way to a 1-1 record before retiring with an injury.
“It was a tough tournament,” Bellmire said. “We lost a few that we should have pulled out. It’s a good start in the right direction, though. I think this was a nice tournament to get us ready for the Warrior.”
Taking place Dec. 20-21 in Grand Junction, the Warrior Classic will offer Panthers wrestlers the opportunity to compete against some of the state’s best.
“That’s the one that we’re really going to see where we’re at,” said Bellmire, discussing his team’s upcoming tournament.