Wrestling season gets rolling today with Steamboat triangular | SteamboatToday.com

Wrestling season gets rolling today with Steamboat triangular

Steamboat Springs High School wrestling coach Travis Bryant, right, plays referee during a team practice Tuesday. The Sailors open their season at home Thursday against Battle Mountain and Summit.
Austin Colbert

— Last season — the first for the Steamboat Springs High School wrestling team under Travis Bryant — the theme was confidence. It was about gaining experience to be able to perform under the bright lights of the state tournament.

“The experience helps a lot,” junior wrestler Dakota Thvedt said. “Walking out into the Pepsi Center is intimidating … the pressure to go back is always there once you’ve been.”

This season, the confidence is largely in place. Now, the team is putting its focus on intensity and becoming a true force on the mat.

“This year, we are feeling pretty confident,” junior Matthew Hansen said. “Although we are pretty young, we just keep working hard in practice and are getting our confidence up knowing we can hang with anybody.”

The Sailors have reason to be confident, with three returning state qualifiers back in Thvedt (132 pounds), Hansen (152 pounds) and junior Colton Pasternak (106 pounds). Each had early exits in the state tournament, but Bryant sees a group capable of taking it to the next level.

“This year, I look to open some eyes. We are not a full team, but the guys we got are caliber,” Bryant said. “Our guys are working hard. We are looking tough. We have three guys that have been to the big show. We’ve got a couple others that were right on the doorstep.”

SSHS has strong numbers out this season, but with most of its wrestlers falling in the low-to-middle weights, the Sailors are without many of the upper weight classes this season.

Steamboat will hit the mat for the first time today when it hosts a triangular with Battle Mountain and Summit. Matches begin at 5 p.m. at the high school, with the two visiting schools likely squaring off in the first tilt.

“They are both good, tough squads,” Bryant said. “It should be interesting to see how it goes. They’ve definitely got some top-notch kids.”

The Sailors then travel to Middle Park for a tournament Saturday before they return home for a triangular Tuesday against Coal Ridge and Moffat County.

Hayden looks to reload yet again

Somehow, the Hayden High School wrestling team just seems to find talent every season, no matter what it lost the year before. This season should be no different for the Tigers, which lost a couple of studs — such as then-senior Taylor Lewis (35-7 last season) — but returns a group that should give them a good shot at making a podium later this winter.

“I got a couple of seniors coming back that I’m real excited about,” said Hayden coach Chad Jones. “I’m piled up with a bunch of young kids down at 113 and 120. I’m really excited about the numbers. We have 16 kids out. So keeping good numbers and the kids have good attitudes.”

Leading the way this season will be returning state qualifiers Christian Carson (junior, 195 pounds) and Devlyn Mossman (junior, 120 pounds). Neither medaled, but Jones thinks both are in position to do so this season.

Other wrestlers who could make noise this season include senior Judd Magee (126 pounds), who Jones said would have been a state qualifier last year had he not broken his hand late in the season, Hunter Rummel (220 pounds) and Tom Wade (160 pounds).

The Tigers open their season Saturday at the Middle Park Tournament in Granby.

Soroco hopeful with young talent

The Soroco High School wrestling team couldn’t quite get anyone into the state tournament a year ago, but there is plenty of reason to think that won’t be the case this winter.

“I’m excited for the year,” coach Jay Whaley said. “I think we have some pretty good kids, and I tell you we have some hardworking kids, so it will pay off for them.”

Of the nine wrestlers out this season, five are freshmen. Of those, Jace Logan looks to be creating the most buzz, especially after he ended his middle school career “with nearly a perfect record.”

Comparative veterans Lane Martindale, junior, and sophomore Dalton Ray are back and provide the Rams with their best state hopefuls.

Soroco gets its season underway Saturday at the Middle Park Tournament in Granby.

To reach Austin Colbert, call 970-871-4204, email acolbert@SteamboatToday.com or follow him on Twitter @Austin_Colbert

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