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County squares off

Soroco, Hayden crown champs at Carl Ramunno tourney

Melinda Mawdsley

This year, sophomore Joel Schlegal feels bigger and stronger than a season ago — all 103 pounds of him.

Saturday, he and Soroco teammates Matt Iacovetto (160 pounds) and Shaye Bruggink (171) won championships in the Carl Ramunno Invitational hosted by Steamboat Springs.

Hayden’s Randy Muhme (heavyweight) and Robert Culver (215) also won tournament titles in their first tournament of the 2004 season.

Steamboat didn’t crown any individual champions, but the Sailors did have several wrestlers place in the top three: Ben DeLine (135), AJ Carmack (140) and Josh Tremellen (heavyweight) were second; Houston Mader (125), Andy Morell (130), Joey Melius (171) and Alex Centner (215) were third.

“It’s a good time of the year to get in as many matches as possible,” Steamboat coach Jay Muhme said.

Schlegal is just happy to be back on the mat. When Schlegal came to Steamboat last season for this same tournament, he left injured and done for the year. Broken bones have plagued the tiny wrestler for years. Saturday, he said he’s all healed up. The only thing that needs fixing is his teeth, and judging by the mouthful of braces he proudly displayed after each win, those are being straightened out as well.

Last year, Schlegal could have frequented fast-food restaurants and still made weight. He couldn’t have topped 100 pounds if he wanted to. This season, however, he will hover at about 103 pounds and finally be the size of his opponents.

“I’ve grown quite a bit since last year,” Schlegal said. “I feel a lot stronger this year, but everyone at 103 pounds is pretty small.”

Schlegal won the 103-pound title after pinning Hayden’s Zed

Wheelock and Grand Valley’s Kelby Dillon before beating Moffat County’s Scott Desjardins by technical fall, 16-0.

Iacovetto, who is aiming to finish undefeated this season, and Bruggink pinned all four of their opponents en route to titles. Iacovetto wrestled a little more than six minutes total Saturday. Bruggink wrestled a little more than five minutes total Saturday. One regulation wrestling match is six minutes long.

The Rams’ Dennis Morgan (215) was second, and Levi Gonzalez (119) placed third.

Hayden’s Randy Muhme pinned Steamboat’s Tremellen twice en route to winning his heavyweight title. He is seeking a repeat trip to the state tournament.

Culver pinned Centner and Morgan to win the 215-pound title.

Dusty Jones (125) placed second, and Chris DeBowes (140) and Matt Marchbanks (189) were third for the Tigers.

Jones, who wrestled at 125 pounds last season, finished the day 3-1, the same record as champion Josh Reichenbach and third-place finisher Mader of Steamboat.

In the round-robin format used at many of the weights, the wrestlers squared off against each other, and the wrestler who scored the most points won.

Saturday’s were Hayden’s first matches of the season under new coach Ty Zabel.

“I like the new coach,” Jones said. “He has a good perspective. He understands that we all have different styles.”

Jones is a sophomore, but he has the most wrestling experience on his team. He began in kindergarten and hasn’t let up.

Steamboat freshman Ben DeLine, who placed second at 135 pounds, began wrestling several years ago. He moved to Steamboat Springs in February and went undefeated in middle school.

He isn’t expecting perfection in his first year on varsity, but being perfect isn’t what wrestling is all about.

“I expect to do a lot better in the years to come,” DeLine said. “You have to lose to learn. What attracted me to wrestling is that there is no one else but you out there.”

Soroco’s next tournament is Saturday in Sargent. Hayden hosts Moffat County’s junior varsity Thursday in Hayden. Steamboat travels to Palisade on Thursday for a triangular.


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