Eighth-grader Segar Oliver made Cortez Middle School wrestling history on Saturday by winning the schools first individual state championship at 140 pounds in Denver at the National Western Stock Show Complex.
I think hes very well deserving of that. He puts a lot of effort in, CMS coach Thad Koppenhafer said about Oliver. He always puts a lot of leadership in, in the wrestling room. Its his effort on his part and wrestling in tournaments outside of school. Hes been working with the high school coach in open practices to get ready. He worked really hard to get there. Im going to miss him being a leader. He set this goal last year and made it happen.
Koppenhafer couldnt make the trip to Denver because of business, so assistant coach and CMS Coach of the Year Jason Higgins coached the Jaguars at the state tournament.
Parker Oliver (95 pounds) went 3-2 at state, and Levi Gross (105 pounds) and Colton Reynolds (75 pounds) both finished 0-2.
Although CMS will lose Segar Oliver and classmate Levi Gross to Montezuma-Cortez High School next year, the coaching staff feels the future for CMS wrestling looks bright.
We have a lot of fifth-graders and a large number of fourth-graders in the Pee Wee program. The next few years look very promising, Koppenhafer said.
Higgins won Coach of the Year honors by vote from CMS faculty and staff.
Its an honor thats for sure to receive it, Higgins said about his award. I do what I feel like I need to do to keep the kids academics and love of the sport.
Higgins ran a study hall an hour and a half before each practice to help the wrestlers stay academically eligible.
Reach Bobby Abplanalp at email@example.com.