For several years, the Dove Creek High School wrestling program has been represented by at least one wrestler in the state finals.
Thanks to 132-pound junior Chance Randolph, that tradition will continue.
Randolph advances to state finals
Competing against Norwood High School’s Hayden Harris, Randolph controlled the match from start to finish, winning 8-0.
After taking a 2-0 lead in the first period, Randolph extended his lead to 5-0 by the end of the second before tacking on an additional three points in the third.
Key to Randolph’s win was his ability to consistently thwart Harris’ takedown attempts.
Earlier in the day, Randolph defeated J.D. Chenoweth after scoring two points with five seconds left in the third period to win 4-3.
“I think our team has a lot better conditioning than a lot of our opponents and that helped me,” said Randolph.
Randolph will compete Paonia High School’s Bo Pipher (34-2) in the state finals on the evening of Saturday, Feb. 22.
“This is the third time that (Randolph and Pipher) will wrestle (this season),” said Bulldogs’ head coach Shane Baughman. “He’s beat us twice, but it’s tough to beat someone three time.”
Baughman loses in semifinals
For Bulldogs’ 126-pound sophomore Case Baughman, the state semifinals turned out to be a frustrating experience.
Wrestling against Swink High School’s Autsin Coy (32-0), Case Baughman fell behind 2-0 after the first period, 4-0 after the second period and was never able to recover, losing 6-0.
“(Coy) just got a lead and tied (Case’s) wrists up,” said Shane Baughman.
Next up for Case Baughman will be a Feb. 22 consolation bracket match against an undetermined opponent.
Jones rebounds from morning loss
Maintaining his focus throughout the second day of the Colorado State Wrestling Tournament, Bulldogs’ senior Nick Jones rebounded well after a tough loss.
Facing Holly High School’s Ryan Nordyke (29-1) in the second round, Jones was defeated 7-3 in a match that was closer than the final score indicated.
After pulling ahead 2-0 early in the first period, Jones yielded a reversal and the match entered the second period tied 2-2.
With the score favoring Nordyke late in the third period, Jones nearly scored a takedown before being taken down as time expired.
With the loss, Jones moved to the consolation bracket where he pinned Sargent High School’s Cordell Curtis.
Jones will next face off against Baca County High School’s Dax Doyle (22-14) on Saturday, Feb, 22.