Werstlers begin year in top form

West Grand wrestler Ian Roundtree podiumed at third place.
West Grand wrestler Ian Roundtree podiumed at third place.

by Brian Strathman
West Grand Head Coach

The WG wrestling team traveled to East Grand to compete in the Middle Park Invitational. The tournament is most a 3A – 4A tournament with many top ranked teams in their respective divisions.

WG started the season on a high note with many wrestlers having their best day in their careers to start their new season. The entire team of 7 wrestlers came ready to go despite the short start to their season.

Wrestling for WG were Dane Biekert 106, Ben Biekert 106, David Santos 106, Omar Dominguez 132, Jacob Murphy 138, Ian Rountree 145, AJ Muelterer 160. The team is young but came ready to go after a tough week of practice. Improvements are seen on a daily basis due to their hard work each night.
Placing for WG were AJ Muelterer Jr. 5th place. AJ had a good day building on his success from the end of last season. AJ has been working hard and ready to make a name for himself on the Western Slope.

Jacob Murphy Fr. 5th place. Jacob came out building on his successful Middle school career. Jacob had a great day for a freshman entering his first HS matches which is a big jump in competition. His years on the mat payed off and he wasn’t worried about the competition. He dealt with the ups and downs of a day like a seasoned wrestler and came back to finish 5th after losing a close match to a kid he beat earlier in the day.

Ian Rountree 3rd place. Ian had the best day of his career to place 3rd. Ian took a year off from wrestling but has been working hard in the room and it payed off for him. He came ready to wrestle and it payed off.

David Santos 3rd place. David has been working hard in the offseason to meet his weight class as he was undersized last year. David put his hard work to the mat and had more wins in 1 day than he did all last year. He started the day off by pinning first two opponents and then losing a close match to a 4A returning place winner in the Semis. He bounced back and won his next match in exciting fashion winning in OT due to his grit. Both wrestlers were tired but David pushed through and won by pin on OT.

Dane and Ben Beikert came ready to wrestle losing close matches to finish their day before the medal round. Omar Dominguez had a tough draw and lost to a 3A placer in his opening match but wrestled well all day coming up just short of the podium. The team has been working hard. For the first time in the ten years I have been here everyone in the room is close in weight which is a huge help having partners for everyone to work with. After our scrimmage a week ago we knew we had work to do and everyone came ready to do it all week. I challenged each of them individually to push each other all week which they did and their performance showed from their effort during the practice week. Being such a young team with only 1 JR. and 1 young SR. they wrestled well and never gave up which gives us lots of film to watch and correct mistakes that we expected to happen. The improvement shown from Mon to Sat are fun to watch right now. We are expecting big things from such a young but talented team. We know we are going to make mistakes jumping to the HS level but everyone is willing to accept them, correct them, and make the jump they are asking of themselves for the coming season. This week the team travels to Soroco on Sat. with wrestling starting at 9. We hope to have our full lineup back for the coming week and are ready for a tough week making corrections to our mistakes which is part of the learning process. This season we are expecting a breakout year for the team as some have spent a year or two at the HS level along with a group of freshman who have been in the program for years and are ready to take the next step in their career.

Friday, December 14 and Saturday, December 15 are our only home dates. Their will be dual on Friday night with HEM, Saratoga, Basalt and Hayden. Saturday will be a tournament with many of the top team in the state competing. It will be a great way to close out our semester to see where we are in our tough region. If anyone is interested in helping contact Brian Strathman at strathmanb@wgsd.us