New mats, old rivals |

New mats, old rivals

Hayden — Mitchel Doolin knew he would have to come out on the attack. — Mitchel Doolin knew he would have to come out on the attack.

— Mitchel Doolin knew he would have to come out on the attack.

The 135-pound Hayden wrestler had already faced Rangely’s Chance Holcomb twice this season, getting pinned by Holcomb in their first match Dec. 2 in Steamboat and then losing a close match to him Dec. 9 in Olathe.

“I knew I could beat him if I could go out there and just get in his head,” Doolin said. “I just tried to control him, not get turned and tried to stay out of his legs.”

Doolin’s decisive 4-0 victory against Holcomb highlighted the Tigers’ efforts in their Friday night tri-match with Soroco and Rangely. Unfortunately for Hayden, Doolin’s teammates could not come up with similar performances to overcome Rangely. The Panthers won, 45-21, topping the Tigers for the second week in a row.

“We made the same mistakes tonight that we were working all week to try and correct from the match in Olathe,” Hayden coach Ty Zabel said. “We’ve got to bounce back quick and get back to the basics.”

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Zabel pointed out some of his team’s other positive performances, which included Coy Letlow’s 53-second win against Rangely’s Ralph Carabajal in the 171-pound class and Mitchel VeDepo’s 119-pound match with Rangely’s Stephan Boleng.

“I saw some good things,” Zabel said of VeDepo’s match, which he lost by pin in 3:32. “He was super on his feet, he just got caught.”

The best example of Hayden’s ability to learn from a loss was Zed Wheelock’s efforts against Soroco’s Justin Iacovetto in the 112-pound class. On the Mat and The Rocky Mountain News currently rank Iacovetto as the state’s No. 1 Class 2A 112-pound wrestler.

Iacovetto beat Wheelock, 5-2, but Wheelock said he felt good about the closest match he’s had against the cross-county rival since the pair began wrestling in seventh grade.

“Wrestling Justin just put a new thing in my head – a new tempo,” Wheelock said, who used the newfound confidence to pin Rangely’s J.C. Chumacero in 2:58 in the final match of the night.

Iacovetto said it “wasn’t (his) best match,” citing hydration issues in his attempt to drop weight to wrestle in the 103-pound class for the West Grand Wrestling Tournament today in Kremmling.

Soroco lost to Hayden by a team score of 48-15, having to forfeit 6 weight classes to Hayden. Soroco coach Doug Gates thought his team “didn’t look too sharp,” as Iacovetto’s win was its only non-forfeit victory against Hayden.

Soroco had seven weight-class forfeits to Rangely, resulting in a lop-sided 54-18 team loss, but of the four matches that it entered wrestlers, Iacovetto and Caleb Mitchell came away with victories.

“He got me to my back, but I fought it and came back,” Mitchell said of his win against Rangely’s Mike Dillon with a pin at 3:31. “It was close.”

Rangely coach Jeff LeBleu joked that he was glad his team could come in to christen Hayden’s new wrestling mat with a win. He was proud of his young team, which lacks any seniors, and was looking forward to today’s rematches against the two teams. All three will travel to compete in the tournament at West Grand that could draw as many as 20 teams.