The County Line Rivals wrapped up the regular season with a bang at the Charger Invitational on Saturday in Ordway. Boasting six champions for the day, Coach Uhland's team finished second with 157.5 points in the field of 18 teams. Edging out our Rivals was the host team, Crowley County, who finished with 159 points. Custer County and Holly tied for 3rdplace both with 72 points.
Chris Scranton was a JV wrestler at 120 pounds for the Rivals. In his first match of the day, he fell to Isaiah Camacho of Crowley County in 39 seconds. Moving left on the bracket, Scranton got a break in round two with a bye. In his final match of the day, he fell to Gabriel Neugebauer of Holly and was eliminated.
Tate Krentz was the scorer for the County Line at 120 pounds. He drew a bye in round one. The rest paid off his next match as he got a win over Gavin Rose of Kiowa by pin in 2:30. Krentz lost a tough one against Dalton Wommack of Custer County by pin. This loss put the Rival in a must win situation his next match, and unfortunately, he was unable to come out on top. An 11-7 loss to Levi Hancock of Baca County forced him to hit the showers.
Samuel Adams spent his day at a familiar 126-pound weight class. He handed Wyatt Gardner of Mountain Valley a loss by pin in 3:22, advancing to meet Brendyn Nordyke of Holly. Despite his best efforts, Adams was overpowered by the ranked opponent, getting pinned in 59 seconds. He came back strong pinning Chris Lewis of Rocky Ford and Kelvin Knapp of Center in his next two matches. A loss against Tyler Camper of Custer County eliminated him one round shy of a medal.
Jonathan Burbank had an outstanding day at 132 pounds. Round two was his first match of the day because of a bye in round one. He caught Lane Nordyke of Custer County in a pin in 4:09. The wins just kept coming for the Rival as he beat a familiar face, Ky Bandy of Limon, by major decision 10-0. This moved him into the championship where he earned a 5-2 decision win over Ethan Gearhart of Sargent and a top spot on the podium.
Aiden Michael has spent the year at 138 pounds, winning many matches in dominating fashion. This weekend was no different as he earned yet another gold medal. A number two seed in a 16-man bracket, Michael got a bye in round one. He then put away David Salazar in a tech fall win. His next opponent, Tanner Howells from Crowley County, injury defaulted out of the match, advancing the Rival into the championship finals. Here he pinned the number one seed in the bracket, Isiah Wellman of Mountain Valley in 5:47.
At 145 pounds Sam Wollert was the Rival elect in an 8-man bracket. He began the day with a win over Cauy Pennington of Kiowa in a 7-1 decision match. Ray Perez of Custer County proved too much to handle for Wollert, as he lost an 11-5 decision and crossed to the consolation semifinal match. His opposite this round, Cody Lucero from Trinidad, injury defaulted out of the match, therefore he got an easy win. In the consolation championship, the Rival dropped a 10-3 decision to Cody Murray of Byers and fell into 4thplace.
Chris Torres won his first match of the day as the unattached wrestler in a 16-man bracket at 152 pounds. He defeated Chris Ryan of Trinidad in an 8-5 decision match. A loss to Adam Schultz of Crowley County dropped Torres to the consolation side of the bracket. He sat out the next round because of a bye and met up with a tough Evan Bottini of Fowler. The Rival was unable to overcome the Grizzly losing by pin. This loss eliminated him from the tournament.
Cade Zordel had a slow start, also at 152 pounds, drawing a bye in round one. He stepped on the mat in round two against Dylan Palomino of Fowler and got caught in a pin after 1:33 of wrestling. His next match had a favorable outcome as he got a pin over Chris Ryan of Trinidad in 2:29. In round three, the Rival fell to Brady Kuhns of Sanford in a 9-7 decision and was forced to watch the rest of the day from the stands.
Zack Fowler put on a spectacular display to finish his regular season earning himself the top spot on the podium. In a five-man round robin bracket, Fowler sat out round one. He came ready to dominate the following rounds pinning each of his opponents. He put away Shane Anderson of Calhan in a quick 19 seconds, beat Jimmy Torres of Trinidad in 2:43, caught Zander Owens-Hailey of Palmer after 4:41, and earned his gold medal defeating the host team opponent, Zach Auchterlonie by pin in 3:48 seconds.
AJ Wilk was one of two County Line wresters at 170 pounds. In a 5-man round robin, he met up with a fellow Rival, Angel Media, in round one. Wilk got the win by a 7-1 decision. He went on to defeat Johnny Feldmann of Custer County by way of pin after 3:39. The next two matches proved a little tougher for Wilk as he dropped two losses against Grayden Flint of Holly, 6-0 and Jorge Valdez of Crowley County by pin. His efforts were good enough for the 3rdplace spot.
Angel Medina had a tough start to the day losing to his teammate AJ Wilk in round one as stated above. Round two was equally as tough falling victim to a pin by Jorge Valdez of Crowley County. He finished strong his next match defeating Johnny Feldmann of Custer County by pin in 3:31. Despite his best efforts, Medina dropped his final match of the day against Grayden Flint of Holly via pin after 3:26 of wrestling. The Rival was the 4thplace finisher for the day.
Dropping a weight class was no problem for Dawson Roesch has he earned yet another championship at 182 pounds. He began his day in a 6-man round robin with a pin over Chance Cannon of Limon in 1:59. Next he put away Jaden Harris of Crowley County via pin after 5:43. He earned a 10-1 major decision win over Justin Wright of Baca County and a pin over Demetriu Pettie of Rocky Ford in rounds three and four. Skylar Owens-Hailey from Palmer pushed the Rival into an overtime period, but Roesch came out on top with a 9-7 sudden victory and a gold medal.
Jayce Bauer polished off his regular season with another gold medal. He put away Guadalup Molina-Garci of Trinidad in 1:07, Wyatt Vermeer of Byers in 1:10, Reace Zollicoffe of Palmer in 1:07, Lane Walter of Crowley County in 1:37, and JJ Horn of Fowler after 4:33, beating all opponents by pin. Bauer goes into the Regional tournament undefeated, a feat he hopes will help him earn a top spot this weekend.
Chase Stolzenberger was the final Rival to earn his gold medal on Saturday at 285 pounds in a three-man round robin. He sat out round one but put Jacob Karle of Crowley County in a pin after 5:33 in round two, and pinned Peyton Froman of Rocky Ford in 5:32 in round three.
The Rivals seem to be peaking at the perfect time. After a good week of practice and preparation, the group will travel to La Junta for a two-day Regional Tournament at Otero Junior College February 15-16. Action will begin at 4:00 p.m. Friday, February 15. The top four seeds in each weight class will advance to the Pepsi Center February 21-23 for the State Championships. Come out and show your support for all our local athletes as all their hard work and dedication comes to a head in the next two weeks. Go Rivals!