Steamboat, Soroco wrestling programs pull apart

Joel Reichenberger

— The Soroco and Steamboat Springs high school wrestling programs are locked up in a duel, and because of that, the teams’ athletes won’t be wrestling each other, at least not locally, after a series of schedule changes.

Soroco High School athletic director Josef Keller this week announced several changes to the upcoming sports schedule. First up, there will be no junior varsity girls basketball game on Saturday when De Beque comes to Oak Creek.

The junior varsity boys will play at 1 p.m., the varsity girls at 2:30 p.m. and the varsity boys at 4 p.m.

Bigger changes have come to the wrestling schedule.

The Routt County Triangular, set for Feb. 4 at Soroco High School, has been canceled after Steamboat backed out. The triangular in the past has featured Steamboat, Soroco and Hayden high school teams.

Soroco, meanwhile, has pulled out of the Jan. 24 Carl Ramunno Invitational tournament in Steamboat Springs and will instead travel to Paonia for the Screaming Eagle Invitational.

Keller said that decision related to both the canceling of the Routt County Triangular and Steamboat’s decision last month to back out of a December tournament in Oak Creek.

“They canceled on coming to our tournament. They canceled on the Routt County Tri. We can go face competition we’ll see at regionals by going to Paonia instead of going to Steamboat, so that’s what we’re doing,” Keller said. “It’s hard to support people who aren’t going to support wrestling in Routt County. That is a part of it.

“Us and Hayden, we’re still doing what we can, but it’s hard to support other people if they’re not going to support us,” Keller said.

Steamboat coach Travis Bryant said his team initially had been overbooked for this year’s schedule and that he’d intended all along to drop an event. He forgot to adjust the schedule until more recently.

“I totally forgot about it,” he said.

Bryant said his team pulled out of the Soroco tournament to face more regional opponents in Delta.

“I hope they aren’t going to Paonia out of spite,” he said of Soroco.

The Carl Ramunno Tournament returned in 2013 after five years off the local wrestling schedule. Bryant said without Soroco, the tournament will have six teams this year.

It had nine in 2013 and 12 last winter.

The Routt County Triangular has had its ups and downs in recent seasons, the match-ups riddled with forfeits as teams, especially Steamboat and Soroco, have struggled with numbers.

Last year, there were four contested weights between those two programs. In 2013, there was one.

Hayden has fared the best in the annual event, sweeping both Soroco and Steamboat in the matchup since it was most recently re-established, in 2010.

At the time, coaches said the triangular was a response to schedules that more and more often kept wrestlers away from meets in the area. Hayden had just one or two home performances a season. Soroco hadn’t wrestled at home in two years, and Steamboat’s Ramunno tournament wasn’t being contested.

Ben Ingersoll contributed reporting for this story.

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

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