Steamboat wrestlers shine at home |

Steamboat wrestlers shine at home

Steamboat’s Austin Ban lifts his opponent off the mat Thursday during a dual with Glenwood Springs.
Joel Reichenberger

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — The regional tournament’s just two weeks away and Thursday the Steamboat Springs High School wrestling team showed it’s in strong form.

The Sailors earned a split in the night’s action, beating Glenwood Springs in a dual, 42-24, then losing to Eagle Valley, 48-36. Both matches had enough empty weight classes and forfeits its hard to make much of anything from the final scores, but for Steamboat coach Travis Bryant, the night was a success.

“The guys were intense. They came out and kept the tide rolling our way,” Bryant said. “We showed a lot of heart in defending our backyard.”

Steamboat was at its best against Glenwood, where it didn’t lose a single actual match.

The Sailors picked up wins in all five of the contested weights. Tucker Havel won at 126 pounds, pulling out a tight mach, 8-6. Kyle Spognardi at 138 won another close one, taking it in overtime, 6-2. Lance Bryant got a big pin just 44 seconds into the first period. Austin Ban got a pin in the third period at 152 pounds and John Slowey got a second-period pin at 195.

The Sailors weren’t quite as sharp against Eagle Valley, but still came away with wins in five of the eight contested weights. They were exciting wins to watch, too.

Bryant won again, this time stretching his match a whole 57 seconds. Ban got a pin in the first period, as well, as did Hayden Johnson. Mader won at 120 pounds with yet another first-period pin and Havel finished that run off, making the Sailors’ winners in the dual five-for-five in first-period pins.

Steamboat lost matches at 195 pounds with Slowey, at 132 with Caleb Anderson and at 138 with Spognardi.

Next up for the squad is a trip this weekend to a tournament at Valley. It will wrestle at Rifle on Thursday then at the regional tournament at Englewood on Feb. 9 to 10.

“It’s going to be fun this postseason,” Travis Bryant said. “I’m proud of how these kids have wrestled. If we can just stay healthy, we’ll do well.”

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

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