With only five grapplers, the Montezuma-Cortez High School wrestling team is hard pressed to register team victories.
Team results aside however, the majority of the individuals on the M-CHS wrestling team are flourishing.
Squaring off against Durango on Jan. 14, the Panthers won three of their five matches, yet hurt by eight forfeit losses, fell 60-16 to the rival Demons.
Leading the way for the Panthers was 170-pound junior Seager Oliver, who, moving up to the 182-pound division, recorded a 10-0 victory over Durango’s Patrick Cannion.
“We wanted to get a good match in,” said Panthers’ head coach Shad Bellmire, discussing the decision to move Oliver up a weight-class. “Seager battled hard against a tough kid.”
Also registering a victory for the Panthers was 132-pound junior Levi Gross, who, looking far better than he has in recent matches, pinned Durango’s Cole Gustavson in the third period.
“The 132-pound bracket is tough this year,” said Bellmire. “(Gross) came out wrestling hard and tough. He did well.”
Rounding out the Panthers who recorded victories in Durango was 145-pound junior Justice Ramos, who pinned Durango’s Diego Martinez in the second period.
With their match against Durango now behind them, the Panthers have been practicing hard in advance of a weekend tournament in Alamosa.
“We’d like to bring home some firsts,” said Bellmire. “We’ve never gone to Alamosa. We’re going to see some different schools. That will be nice.”