Steamboat, Hayden, Soroco wrestling teams fare well against top competition |

Steamboat, Hayden, Soroco wrestling teams fare well against top competition

The Steamboat Springs High School wrestling team is still struggling with lingering illness, but coach Travis Bryant said the athletes who were able to compete put up strong results Saturday at a tournament at Evergreen High School.

“I don’t know if we’ll ever get over it. Some sickness seems to be hanging on and we were down three guys, but the guys who went showed well and wrestled hard and we’re proud of how they performed,” Bryant said.

Leading the way for the Sailors was Hayden Johnson, who won his bracket at 160 pounds. He went 2-0.

Steamboat had a pair of wrestlers place second. Tucker Havel accomplished that feat at 126 pounds and Kyle Spognardi did it at 138 pounds in what Bryant termed one of Spognardi’s best weekends of the season. It was enough to earn Spognardi the team’s wrestler of the week honors.

Spencer Mader placed third at 120 pounds, then both Caleb Anderson, at 132, and John Slowey, at 195, were fourth.

Austin Ban, new to the team and wrestling at 152 pounds, placed sixth.

It all added up to a sixth-place finish for the squad in a field of 13 schools.

Next up for Steamboat is a trip next weekend for a duals tournament at Rifle.


Hayden’s Hayes strong in Utah

A handful of wrestlers stood out for the Hayden High School wrestling team as the squad traveled Friday and Saturday to the Tournament of Champions in Vernal, Utah.

Hayden High School Tigers

At perhaps the toughest tournaments they’ll see all season, the Tigers came away with one who placed and three others who pieced together runs in the deep, talented competitive fields.

“It’s good for kids to see that level of competition,” Jones said. “It was as tough as a state tournament and it helps them prepare for our state tournament.”

Keenan Hayes, a freshman at 138 pounds, went 4-2 at the tournament and won his final match to place seventh.

“For a freshman to go down and get a medal from that tournament, I was pretty impressed,” coach Chad Jones said. “He was pretty amazing and a lot of fun to watch for a freshman.”

Taylor Powell, a 113-pound junior, was 3-2 and one match short of placing. Jake Planansky was 2-2 at 145 pounds and Hunter Planansky 2-2 at 170 pounds, each two matches shy of placing.

“There were some things we could have done better, but they learned from it,” Jones said. “They did pretty well.”

The team travels Friday to compete against Cedaredge in a dual, then will wrestle Saturday in a tournament at Paonia that will consist almost exclusively of teams Hayden will see next month at the regional tournament.


Rams rule at Wiggins tourney

Things couldn’t have gone much better for the Soroco wrestling team, coach Jay Whaley said the day after his team won a tournament in Wiggins.

Soroco High School Rams

The Rams had eight wrestlers place at the event and won four weight classes.

“We did awesome, actually,” Whaley said. “It was the first time we had everyone at the weights we needed them at and they performed outstanding.”

Soroco got wins from Kody Logan at 132 pounds, Jace Logan at 170 pounds, Tristan Singer at 170 pounds and Sky Carlson at 220 pounds.

It also picked up a second-place finish from Dalton Ray, who’s in the midst of a strong season as a senior, having lost now just twice.

“He had a great performance,” Whaley said.

The team had two third-place finishers. Jesse Amrein was third at 160 pounds. He came into the season closer to 170, but blocked there by Jace Logan was wrestling at 182 pounds. He cut down to 160 during the holiday break and shined there Saturday.

The Rams also got a third-place finish from rookie Erik Shaffer, wrestling at 285 pounds.

“He just started with us right before Christmas and his goal for the whole year was to win two matches on the same day. Saturday, he pinned a couple of kids, won his two matches and placed third. He was pretty excited.”

The team also got a fourth-place showing from sophomore Gene Bracegridle.

“We just had a great weekend,” Whaley said.

Soroco is also headed Saturday to wrestle at Paonia.

To reach Joel Reichenberger, call 970-871-4253, email or follow him on Twitter @JReich9.

Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

Readers around Steamboat and Routt County make the Steamboat Pilot & Today’s work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.

Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.

Each donation will be used exclusively for the development and creation of increased news coverage.