|2 Dragon wrestlers place in Wray tourney|
|Written by Brenda Johnson Brandt|
Chad Stroh won the 125-lb. bracket and Mark Edmonds finished third at 103 lbs. to mark the only Dragon placewinners in the Dec. 20 Bob Smith Invitational Wrestling Tournament in Wray.
“I didn’t have them prepared to go to Wray, and we paid the price,” said coach Duane Stroh after the tournament. He pointed out they had trouble getting the team to focus in practice last week, and it showed.
With strong competition amongst Dragon wrestlers in weight classes from 119-145 lbs., Stroh said he’s tried to spread the team out to get everyone in the action.
However, instead of solid performance in the weight classes, too many were weighing very light in their division and not doing so well.
Stroh said he’s decided kids will wrestle where they weigh-in at. There will be more wrestle-offs in the practice room to compete for the weight division slots in tourneys.
The Dragons will take a break for the holidays, with the next competition being at the league meet in Merino Thursday, Jan. 8.
Individual results from the Dec. 20 Bob Smith Invitational in Wray follow:
103 lbs.—Mark Edmonds placed third. He pinned Courtney Evanson of Wray in 3:27, lost a heartbreaking 4-5 decision to Jacob Garcia of Rocky Ford, pinned Mike Morris of Yuma in 2:27, pinned Tel Campbell of Akron in 2:44 and pinned James Hastings of Merino in 2:23.
It was a costly mistake for Edmonds when he lost a contact and went to his coach instead of the referee. The move cost him a point against a top-ranked wrestler from Rocky Ford who ended up beating Edmonds 5-4. “All in all, Edmonds looks good,” said coach Stroh.
119 lbs.—Brian Strong was pinned by Jordan Sprouse of Yuma in 4:52, pinned Travis Hill of Akron in 3:27, pinned Dylan Parker of Fowler in :51 and lost a 2-6 decision to Ricky Long of Rocky Ford.
Strong wrestled hard and his technique was pretty good, said coach Stroh. He struggled in his first match with Yuma’s Sprouse, and ended up being pinned.
125 lbs.—Chad Stroh placed first. He pinned Justin Bull of Akron in 3:44, pinned Andrew Tomlin of Fowler in 2:29, pinned C.J. Brophy of Yuma in 1:16 and won a 6-3 decision over Buddy Watson of Wiggins.
The undefeated Dragon wrestler was wrestling a little flat, but found a way to win, said coach Stroh. Chad pinned his way into the championship, where he earned a three-point decision over Watson of Wiggins, who is ranked #1 at 125 lbs. Stroh is ranked #1 at 130.
130 lbs.—Seth Baker won a close 8-7 decision over Scotty Shahid of Merino, lost a 1-14 major decision to Alex Door of Wiggins, pinned Mike Hart of Merino in 3:35 and lost a 3-4 decision to Grant Suto of Rocky Ford.
While Baker had a fairly good opening match, coach Stroh said he got real conservative in the next two, which hurt him.
135 lbs.—Skyler Dittmer pinned Trevor Combs of Fleming in 1:06, lost on a medical default to Ryan Talmich of Rocky Ford, pinned Josh Frecks of Stratton in 5:45, won a narrow 4-3 decision over Dalton Marini of Wiggins and lost a 1-9 major decision to Bryan Hamacher of Simla.
Dittmer wrestled well all day, said Stroh. He was in a tough bracket and had some tough draws, but still ended up one away from placing.
140 lbs.—Parker Redfern lost a 4-6 decision to Jesse Johnson of Middle Park and was pinned in 1:26 by Ethan Florian of Akron.
While Redfern’s technique looked good, coach Stroh said he’s just a small kid in the 140-lb. bracket.
145 lbs.—Broc Pelle pinned Gus Dilka of Akron in 1:25, won an 8-4 decision over Mitchell Harryman of Merino, lost a 4-9 decision to Dakin Bushner of Yuma and was pinned by Mike Mullin of Simla in 3:27.
Pelle found a way to win some matches in a weight class in which he was small, said Stroh. He was a little flat-footed, but still finished one match away from placing.
152 lbs.—Brandon Price was pinned in 1:38 by Andrew Burton of Merino, pinned José Reyan of Cheyenne Wells in 1:28 and lost a 1-14 major decision to Nate Birdseye of Middle Park.
Price, a senior, was extremely underweight in his weight division in his first match since he was a seventh grader. “He showed a lot of heart and worked hard,” said Stroh.
171 lbs.—Luke Garrett lost a 10-13 decision to Zach Jackson of Wray, major decisioned Jon Kazmeroff of Ponderosa 15-3 and lost a 7-15 major decision to Nick Jurney of Rocky Ford.
Garrett had a really rough day, said Stroh. He will go to 160s after the holiday break. The Dragon junior still wrestled with lots of heart, according to coach Stroh. “He never gives up.”
171 lbs.—Mitch Wittman was pinned in 2:46 by Josh Cooper of Stratton and was pinned in :27 by Jerry Prottsman of Simla.
Wittman showed much improvement from the previous week, said coach Stroh.
189 lbs.—Casey Sage was pinned in :32 by Josh Larson of Fleming and was pinned in 4:58 by Evan Rairdon of Stratton.
Sage also showed improvement from the previous week, added Stroh.