Wrestling preview capsules

A team-by-team look at this season's area wrestling competition.
By Kevin Carmody Updated: December 7, 2013 at 5:44 am • Published: December 6, 2013 | 9:10 pm 0

5A

Coronado

Coach: Matt Brickell (24th year)

Returning state qualifiers: 5

Key wrestlers: Trent Watson (state qualifier, two-time state champion), Jess Hankin 113 (state qualifier, state champion); Sam Smith (state fifth place), Grady Pina (state qualifier), Joe Hunt (state qualifier),

Outlook: The Cougars, 5A champs in 2011, are always in the mix. Watson, a Virginia signee, was ranked tops at 106 pounds by USA Wrestling, and the senior will move up to 120 or 126 this season. Hankin is a two-time state qualifier.

Doherty

Coach: Dave Kalbach (fifth season)

Returning state qualifiers: 3

Key wrestlers: Harlie Stutts, fr., 106; Jonathan Garcia, jr., 113 (state qualifier); Logan Hammarmeister, jr. 120; Nathan Gonzales, sr. 126 (state qualifier); Makenzie Stutts, sr., 132; Josh Wilhelm, jr., 145; Ian Havens, jr., 152; Brandon Supernaw, sr., 160 (state qualifier)

Outlook: The Spartans are deep and experienced in the lightweights and middleweights. Garcia, Gonzales and Supernaw all qualified for state last season. Where Doherty might struggle is in the higher weights, where this team isn't as deep.

Liberty

Coach: Shawn Springsteen (fourth season)

Returning state qualifiers: None

Key wrestlers: Kade Beziou, sr.; Brandon Poulus, sr.; Jonathon Sigley, sr.; Kaiden Springsteen, sr.

Outlook: The Lancers sport a senior-laden lineup, one that they think can represent at the 5A state tournament. Liberty is wrestling for former teammate Gabriel Lawrence, who died Oct. 6, and continues to build a winning tradition under fourth-year coach Shawn Springsteen.

Pine Creek

Coach: Billy Gabel (seventh season)

Returning state qualifiers: None

Key wrestlers: Chris Cos, jr.; Dakota Colonese, sr.; Sam Haman, sr.

Outlook: That's not a misprint; the Eagles don't return a state placer from last season for the first time in recent memory. That's OK with them, though. Cos qualified for state in 2011 at 103 pounds, and after an injury-riddled sophomore season at 132, returns at full strength for his junior season. He'll wrestle at 152 pounds, where teammate Alex Smith won state last season.

4A

Air Academy

Coach: Blue Anderson (11th season)

Returning state qualifiers: 4

Key wrestlers: Justin Petrash, sr., 285 (state fourth place); Ben Self, jr., (state qualifier); Tyler Hanenberg, jr. (state qualifier); Austin Sethmen, sr. (state qualifier); Rory Hughes, sr.

Outlook: Anderson notes that while there are a handful of returning state qualifiers, that small core will have to lead a mostly inexperienced team.

Canon City

Coach: Duff Seaney (26th season)

Returning state qualifiers: 1

Key wrestlers: Anthony Abbott, sr. (state qualifier); Caleb Coffey, sr.; Gaven Guess, sr.

Outlook: The Tigers hope to qualify more than one to the 4A state tournament. With a strong and experienced senior class, they might just do that.

Cheyenne Mountain

Coach: Pat Engleright (first season)

Returning state qualifiers: 1

Key wrestlers: Billy Dabney, sr., heavyweight (state qualifier); Bryan Zerr, jr.; Ian Feign, jr.

Outlook: Engleright inherits a team with only three seniors, but notes its strong work ethic could make up the difference during the upcoming season.

Discovery Canyon

Coach: Ron Sukle (seventh season)

Returning state qualifiers: 4

Key wrestlers: Sam Turner, so., 106 (state runner-up); Tyler Oberg, sr., 145 (state runner-up); David Traynor, sr., 195 (state runner-up); Adrian Mack, sr., 170 (state qualifier)

Outlook: Last season, Discovery Canyon sent nine wrestlers to the state tournament, getting four to the finals but finishing second to Broomfield. The runner-up finish was the best in school history, but the Thunder want more in 2013-14, led by a trio of wrestlers who fell in their respective championship matches.

Falcon

Coach: Robert Lovato (first season)

Returning state qualifiers: 1

Key wrestlers: Justin Barron, sr. (state qualifier); Charlie Wallace, sr.; Anthony Lagorio, sr.; Dillon Reese, sr.; Justen Clemens, sr.; Brandon Son, jr.; Kevin Blair, jr.; John Lynch, so.

Outlook: Lovato, entering his first year, inherits a young team led by seven returning letter-winners. He's hoping a fruitful offseason will jump start the team in 2013-14.

Harrison

Coach: Lyle Evans (first season)

Returning state qualifiers: None

Outlook: Evans starts his first year at Harrison working on his team being more aggressive and working together as a team.

Lewis-Palmer

Coach: Nick Baker (13th season)

Returning state qualifiers: 2

Key wrestlers: Joseph Glenn, 120 (state qualifier); Brad Kadlubowski, 126 (state qualifier); Alec Oberndorfer, sr.; Darryan Vanderpool, sr., 138; Cody Green, sr., 152; Matt Brines, sr., 182; Luke Fowler, sr., heavyweight

Outlook: Baker, heading into his 13th and final season as wrestling coach (he took over athletic director duties this summer) has a senior-dominated team for the upcoming season. In addition to two returning state qualifiers, the Rangers also have Vanderpool, a state qualifier in 2012.

Mesa Ridge

Coach: Rob Braaten (second season)

Returning state qualifiers: 3

Key wrestlers: Dominique Hughes, sr., 145 (state qualifier); Tremell Stanley, sr., 145 (state runner-up); Procopio Valdez, sr., 113 (state runner-up at 106); Leon Sanchez, 126 (state qualifier)

Outlook: Braaten is counting on his returning letter-winners.

Mitchell

Coach: Kevin Meyer (16th season)

Returning state qualifiers: 1

Key wrestlers: Abraam Arreguin-Almanza, jr., 120 (state qualifier at 113); Tyler Conklin, jr., 138; Cody Conklin, so., 106 or 113; Will Collins, sr., 152; Eduardo Santana, sr., 160; Jeremy Mathews, jr., 138 or 145.

Outlook: Collins and the Conklin brothers transferred from Wasson and immediately added depth and talent to Mitchell's team. They join three other returning letter-winners that could make the Marauders a harder team to beat in duals this season.

Palmer Ridge

Coach: Paul Gagich (second season)

Returning state qualifiers: 1

Key wrestlers: Rylen Thalhammer, jr., 113 (state qualifier); Jonathan Dela Cruz, jr.

Outlook: The Bears lost six seniors off last season's squad but hope a successful offseason can make the difference in not missing a beat. Thalhammer was the regional champ and reached state for the second time last season.

Sand Creek

Coach: Troy Bonewell (13th season)

Returning state qualifiers: 1

Key wrestlers: Jeremy Jaquess, sr., 160 (state qualifier); Eric Metcalf, jr., 170; Derek Sutton, 126; Tristan Knockle, 120; Aaron Bristow, 138

Outlook: Jaquess, a team captain, enters the season ranked in the top 10 among 4A wrestlers at 160 pounds. Sutton returns after missing last season due to injury.

Vista Ridge

Coach: Nate Hill (second season)

Returning state qualifiers: None

Key wrestlers: Austin Mildbrandt, sr.; Chris Mann, sr.; Taylor LeBlanc, sr.

Outlook: Hill starts his second season continuing to build the Wolves program. Last season, Vista Ridge was represented by Nathaniel Hawthorne in the state finals, and a trio of seniors will try to match that accomplishment this season.

Widefield

Coach: Gary Foltz (14th season)

Returning state qualifiers: None

Key wrestlers: Stephen Dabelko, fr., 106; Angelo Martinez, jr., 132; Matt Hogue, sr., 145; Wesley Madrano, sr., 220; and Grayson Parton, jr., 285.

Outlook: Foltz considers his rebuilding team young and inexperienced but hopes to be competitive in a tough league.

Others

The Classical Academy

Coach: Sean Collins (eighth season)

Returning state qualifiers: 5

Key wrestlers: Andrew Register, sr., 152 (state champion at 138); Zach Johns, sr., 160 (state qualifier); Nathaniel Johnston, jr., 126 (state qualifier); Hudson Baker, jr., 132 (state qualifier); Ryan Francis, so., 106 (state qualifier); Ben Hinds, so., 170.

Outlook: Collins can't say enough about his team's heart and perseverance. However, lack of depth and mat time and learning how to finish matches could limit the Titans.

CSCS

Coach: Mike Craddock (second season)

Returning state qualifiers: 3

Key wrestlers: Connor Craddock, jr., 152 (state qualifier); Brian Follett, sr., 120 (state qualifier); Cameron Krautschun, sr., 170 (state qualifier); Corey Craddock, sr., 138

Outlook: The Lions have a senior-laden team, but lack of depth will cause them to give away a few bouts at several weights.

Ellicott

Coach: Tom Talmich (fourth season)

Returning state qualifiers: 2

Key wrestlers: Fabian Hermosillo, sr., 145 (state qualifier); Dylan Kelly, jr., 220 (state qualifier); Stephen Heitmann, jr., 138.

Outlook: Hermosillo and Kelly lead a strong returning core that will be counted on to lead the team. Talmich noted a marked increase in his team's technique.

Calhan

Coach: Trevor Newton (first season)

Returning state qualifiers: 1

Key wrestlers: Jake Freeland, sr., 152 (state qualifier); Justin Harper, sr., 170; Anthony Branson, sr., 285.

Outlook: Calhan gets an infusion of talent from nearby Simla, which had its program cut due to lack of support. Another infusion of support is coming from injured senior Jourdan Ellis, a state alternate at 160 pounds last year. He was paralyzed in a car accident in September but regularly attends practice as a student-coach.

Not reporting: Fountain-Fort Carson, Rampart, Palmer, Sierra, Woodland Park, Florence, Manitou Springs, St. Mary's, CSDB, Peyton

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