It’s been a busy start to 2017 for the Montezuma-Cortez wrestling team.
The Panthers were back in action on their first day of school of the new year with a home dual against San Juan on Wednesday, and then they followed it up with a dual at Bayfield on Thursday.
Opening with the 132-pound weight class, the dual got off to an exciting start with Bayfield’s Jake Sandrey narrowly defeating M-CHS sophomore Matthew Broughton in a 5-4 decision.
Ethan Root and Josh Ramos each followed with pins to give M-CHS a 12-3 advantage, before Bayfield’s Shane Moore tacked on six for the home team with a forfeit win.
The Wolverines then got pins from Macoy Michaeli (over Briggs Durbin) and Daniel Westbrook (over Swayde Noyes) to jump on top in the team scoring, 21-12.
After a forfeit win by Bayfield’s Sam Westbrook, M-CHS bounced back with two straight, as Shawn Higgins won by pin at 106 and Stevie Fuentes won in a tight 4-3 decision over Cody Speece at 120.
And then in the final match of the evening, Bayfield’s Garrett Beebe pinned Quayde Oliver to secure a 33-21 team victory for the Wolverines.
M-CHS head coach Shad Bellmire said previously that he expected Bayfield to be tough, but the Panthers stood toe to toe. Subtract the 12 points they gave up due to forfeits and M-CHS wrestled evenly with OntheMat’s No. 9 ranked Class 3A team.
After Thursday’s dual, the Panthers traveled to Montrose on Saturday for a tournament.
And although M-CHS had just four grapplers in action, they came home with positive results.
Wrestling at 106, Higgins took a bye and two pins into the championship match against Palisade’s Jaggar Wade, where he eventually fell to finish second.
Broughton, at 132, and Ramos, at 145, each finished 4-1 and capped off the day with wins in their respective third place matches. And then wrestling at 160 pounds, Durbin finished in fifth place to round out the squad.
The Panthers don’t have long to rest, as they’re back at it on Tuesday in a home dual against Durango beginning at 6 p.m.