Soroco wrestling team is small but mighty
OAK CREEK — The Soroco High School wrestling team has just seven members, six boys and a girl, but head coach Jay Whaley believes everyone is capable of placing well at regionals and going to state.
“I expect them all to,” Whaley said. “That’s what every coach should expect. It’s a new season. Whatever happened last year doesn’t make a difference. I expect all of them to do well and qualify.”
There are a few Rams that, if all goes well, should qualify for state: junior Kody Logan and seniors Tristan Singer and Gene Bracegirdle.
In 2019, the 170-pound Logan went 2-2 at the state tournament after finishing third at the 2A Region 1 tournament. He wants to battle in the state championship about this year and hopefully come out on top.
“A lot of it is mentality,” Logan said. “If you think you can beat ‘em, you can beat ‘em.”
The only other returning state qualifier is heavyweight Singer, who dropped both his matches at 220 pounds at state following a fourth-place finish at regionals.
Whaley also expects 138-pound Bracegirdle to make it to the state tourney this year after three straight years of falling one win short. Bracegirdle said his biggest goal for the 2019-20 season is making it to the sports biggest stage after missing out so many times.
“It’s all been my fault I haven’t gone,” he said. “Being a senior, I want to get my name up on the wall.”Soroco wrestling schedule:
- Dec. 7: Soroco at Middle Park, 4th
- Dec. 7: Soroco girls at Arapahoe
- Dec. 13: Home Duals, 5 p.m.
- Dec. 14: Tournament at Soroco, 4th
- Dec. 14: Soroco girls at Eagle Crest, 9 a.m.
- Dec. 21: Soroco at West Grand
- Jan. 3-4: Soroco girls at Vista Ridge
- Jan. 11: Soroco at Eagle Valley
- Jan. 11: Soroco girls at Tiara Challenge
- Jan. 17: Soroco at Ridge View Academy Duals, 9 a.m.
- Jan. 18: Soroco at Wiggins. 9 a.m.
- Jan. 18: Soroco girls at TBD
- Jan. 25: Soroco at Paonia, 8 a.m.
- Jan. 25: Soroco girls at Poudre, 8 a.m.
- Jan. 28: Routt County Tri at Steamboat Springs, 5 p.m.
- Feb. 1: Soroco at Center, 9 a.m.
- Feb. 1: Soroco girls at regionals, 9 a.m.
- Feb. 6: Soroco Duals, 5 p.m.
- Feb. 8: Soroco at Meeker Dual Tournament, 9 a.m.
- Feb. 8: Soroco girls at State in Thornton, 9 a.m.
- Feb. 14-15: Soroco at Regionals in Montrose
- Feb. 20-22: Soroco at State in Denver
Bracegirdle said he has to improve his mental perspective in order to finally make the cut.
“I’ve always looked at seedings and rankings, but I think, this year, it finally clicked, that doesn’t matter,” he said. “Any given day anyone can lose. It’s definitely been my fault in the past because I’ve been like, ‘Oh, he’s a tough guy, I can’t beat him.’ I’m a tough guy too, so this year, if my mental game is alright, I’ll make it.”
Joining the seasoned grapplers are senior Zack Clyncke, freshman Gavyn Salberg and junior Darrel Ebaugh, all of whom recently started competing in the sport. There’s also freshman Makenzie Clark who will wrestle in the CHSAA girls wrestling program, which is in the second and final year of its pilot program.
Clark’s season will feature tournaments with just female wrestlers. She’ll begin this weekend in Arapahoe and conclude the year with regionals on Feb. 1 and potentially, state at Thornton on Feb. 8.
“We’re newer, not as technical as we used to be, but we’re getting a lot better,” Logan said of the Soroco squad. “Everybody has a good mental state.”
Logan is also stepping into a leadership role as the most successful wrestler on the roster this season, something Whaley thinks will help Logan compete at a higher level this season.
“I just see some maturity out of him,” Whaley said of Logan. “I’m excited for him.”
The team will open the season at a tournament in Middle Park on Saturday, Dec. 7. The Rams will also host home duals Dec. 13 and a home tournament Dec. 14.
“I hope we get a good crowd out,” Logan said. “It’s fun when everybody’s there.”
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