Hayden wrestlers heads to state
Middle school team hopes for win on big stage
Steamboat Springs — They chanted loud, ran a lap around the inside of the gymnasium and flew out the door into the sunlight, the ring of cheering and applause all that remained in their wake.
With that, the Hayden Middle School wrestling team was on its way to state.
The squad attended a pep rally in its honor Friday morning before the 16 wrestlers who qualified at last weekend’s regional tournament loaded into SUVs for the trip to the state tournament in Denver.
There, the team has hopes of a high finish.
“We’re going down there to win,” middle school wrestling coach Dallas Robinson said. “We’re giving up six weights, and that’s a large obstacle to overcome, but I really think our boys are up for it.”
Nick Rossman and Casey Williams, from Steamboat Springs, and Colton Martindale and Austin Wisecup, from Soroco, also will compete in the tournament.
Hayden has the best chance for a top finish. The Tigers boast four regional champions, two of whom are undefeated this season.
T-Lane Mazzola, who wrestles in the 100-pound division, entered the regional tournament 22-0 and then advanced unscathed through that field. Ryan Domson, a 135-pounder who transferred to Hayden from Moffat County, was 23-0 before he won his regional bracket.
Errol Ormesher, at 120 pounds, and Will Valora, in the heavyweight division, also won their regional classifications.
The second annual state tournament will provide the team plenty of competition. Hayden High School wrestlers enjoyed one of their best years with a fourth-place finish in March’s Class 2A state tournament, but school size is not used to divide the middle school teams.
Instead, Hayden will square off against schools big and small from all across the state.
Hayden earned a second-place finish at the regional tournament, behind Hotchkiss.
Hotchkiss will be one of the favorites to win this weekend’s tournament, as well, but there was no shortage of confidence as the Tigers ran out of a gym packed with parents and classmates.
“Hotchkiss scored more points at their regional than any team did at any other regional,” Robinson said. “We had the second most. We’re confident. Six or seven of our boys can make a big difference at state and possibly bring us into the lead.
“We’re out there to win.”
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