The 2014-2015 season was a sweet one for the Montezuma-Cortez wrestling program.
Not only because Seager Oliver won his second straight state championship, but also because of the experience other team members got from attending the state championships at the Pepsi Center in Denver.
Head coach Shad Bellmire hopes that the experience motivates returning wrestlers to qualify for state this season.
“We had some kids that hadn’t been to the Pepsi Center before that got a taste and got to experience it,” Bellmire said. “So hopefully they’ll get back to the Pepsi Center.”
While Oliver and other state qualifiers Justice Ramos and Andrew Finch graduated, the Panthers return one state qualifier from last year in junior Josh Ramos.
Other key returners include seniors Colton Reynolds and Victor Perez, and Bellmire hopes some of the younger wrestlers can step up.
“As a team, we want to keep working hard and see how many we can get to the Pepsi Center,” he said. “We’re young this year, but I believe they can get to state with some hard work.”