Cortez Middle School will take five wrestlers to regionals at Mesa State College in Grand Junction this Saturday for a chance to qualify for the state tournament in Denver next weekend.
Colton Reynolds, 75 pounds; Parker Oliver, 95 pounds; Briggs Durbin, 100 pounds; Levi Gross, 105 pounds; and Segar Oliver, 140 pounds, will represent the Jaguars against the best middle school wrestlers across the Western Slope.
Were going up against teams with 18 kids. We dont expect to do much as a team, but if we can at least get four to state, Ill be happy, Jaguars coach Thad Koppenhafer said. All five would be amazing.
Thirty teams will be at Mesa State from the Western Slope. There are no school classifications at the middle school level. Everyone wrestles each other from all over Colorado.
During the CMS wrestling season, which ended right before Christmas, the Jaguars dualed against middle schools in Dove Creek, Norwood and Durango.
Many of the other schools in the state are still in the midst of their wrestling seasons, which is a major disadvantage for Koppenhafers team. But the Jaguars have been practicing to get back in shape and will be ready to go for regionals.
Segar Oliver took fourth-place at the state tournament last year and expectations are high this post-season. Reynolds and Gross are returning state qualifiers and are expected to make it back this year.
Reach Bobby Abplanalp at email@example.com.