Soroco's state wrestling underdogs shine on the mat |

Soroco’s state wrestling underdogs shine on the mat

Soroco High School senior Jesse Amrein wrestles in the preliminary rounds of the CHSAA State Wrestling championships on Thursday, Feb. 21, at the Pepsi Center in Denver. (Photo by Leah Vann)

DENVER — Soroco High School junior Tristan Singer only won one wrestling match last year.

Singer found himself caught underneath Ellicott senior Braydn Cowen on Friday, lying on his back in his second loss at the CHSAA State Wrestling championships.

“If you would’ve talked to me in November and asked me who I thought would’ve made it, I probably would not have said his name,” Soroco head coach Jay Whaley said. “He just plugs away. He’s always in practice. He’s always there. He’s always doing the work. He never complained, It’s showing, and it’s paying off.”

Singer hung his head in defeat, but only briefly. He didn’t think he’d be here either.

He laughed when asked if he thought he’d be on the floor at the Pepsi Center at the beginning of the season.

There’s only one way to describe the feeling of walking into the arena.

“Amazing,” Singer said. “It’s just awesome. If you put in all the work, it’ll pay off. I’m going to use it [next year] to fuel my work and just up the ante.”

One reason for Singer’s success could be the change in weight class. In years past, Singer has competed at 182 pounds, and he now competes in the 220-pound weight class.

Singer weighs 219 pounds now, and the coaches believed maybe this would be his year in a heavier weight class. Singer doesn’t plan on making any changes for next year.

“I don’t know, there’s just something about winning,” Singer said with a smile.

Soroco junior Tristan Singer didn’t expect to make it to the state championships but believes hard work is what got him there. (Photo by Leah Vann)

Jesse Amrein 

Soroco High School senior Jesse Amrein, also previously a 182-pound wrestler, jumped up to the 195 weight class just before regionals to make his first state appearance. Whaley said, in hindsight, he probably would’ve made state either way this year, but talent at 182 would make for a tougher road.

Amrein weighed in at 178 this morning. His nutritional plan tonight will be a post-wrestling feast of pasta, steak and salad. Maybe, at least one time this weekend, he’ll weigh 180.

“Every day I weigh in and my goal is to weigh 180 at the weigh-ins, and I haven’t made that,” Amrein said. “It’s a little intimidating when you look at kids like Anthony Feliz, No. 1 in our weight class, but we’re all the same. Some kids are a little bit chubbier, some kids are pretty lean, but every day, I know none of them are as tough as Jace [Logan], and I wrestle Jace every day.”

Amrein, who took second at regionals, found himself in the quarterfinals after Thursday’s victory. He was pinned by Lyon junior Karson Bean in the third period at 5:31.

“Jesse was in that match, and he just kind of got greedy and made a mistake,” Whaley said. “He just went for that Peterson roll, and the kid caught him as soon as he went in and threw his hips out. When you get caught under a big guy like that, it’s hard.”

Amrein said the loss tested his mental game. The road to a consolation championship is longer than the winners’ bracket.

“It was up and down. There was thoughts of, ‘Oh this kid is going to beat me up.’ I’ll go 1-2 and be done with it,” Amrein said. “It takes a lot of mental preparation. One of our assistant coaches, Dean Vogelaar, he’s kind of like our team grandpa. He worked with Bo Jackson for a while, and he said at this point, conditioning doesn’t matter. It’s all about your heart.”

Later that evening, Amrein took down Yuma junior Cayden Lynch by an 8-4 decision to keep himself alive in the consolation bracket for another day.

“Block out the stuff. I won’t be on my phone at all tonight. Go eat and go straight to bed,” Amrein said.

Kody Logan

Of the underdog group of Soroco wrestlers, sophomore Kody Logan, 145, had the most success on his second day.

Logan, who rose from No. 5 to No. 3 in his weight class at the regional competition, took a loss in the preliminary rounds and pinned Monte Vista senior Zach Hindes within 32 seconds. His second match in the consolation bracket was similar.

Logan was quick on his feet against Peyton Junior Colton Murray. He lunged at Murray’s legs, twisting him on his side and rolling him on his back for a win by fall in 35 seconds.

“I had my doubts,” Logan said. “But, at the same time, I thought I could do it — that I was as good as the rest.”

To reach Leah Vann, call 970-871-4253, email or follow her on Twitter @LVann_Sports.

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