Mon Jan 11th, 2016
Special to the Drum
Tags: Ault Highland, Buena Vista, Class 4A State Championships, Ethan Appenzeller, Highland, Hotchkiss, Ignacio, Jeremy Fraser, La Jara Centauri, Larimer County-based Windsor, Meeker, Norwood-Nucla, Paonia, Rob Mickel Memorial Invitational, Skyler Score, Tanner Watson, Wizards
Then competing for Larimer County-based Windsor, now-junior Skyler Score couldn’t score the Wizards as many team points as hoped for by not placing at last season’s Class 4A State Championships in Denver.
And currently wrestling for Ault Highland, further to the east of the sprawling Fort Collins area, the former 120-, 138-pounder still finds himself close to the top – as in the final pre-holiday On The Mat Class 2A rankings – as the second half of the 2015-16 slate gets underway… but not close enough in priming himself to seek out a Pepsi Center podium finish next month.
The same could be said for Ignacio junior Ethan Appenzeller – billed fourth at the weight behind Score, Rocky Ford senior Jeremy Fraser and #1-ranked Peyton junior Britton Holmes – one of only two Ignacio wrestlers receiving top-four distinction in Tim Yount’s closely-followed assessment heading into the New Year.
Head coach Jordan Larsen’s Bobcats, however, will hit the Jan. 9 Rocky Mountain Invitational (hosted by 3A Pagosa Springs) mats as a sum ranked above its parts; the Dec. 28, 2015, team rankings saw IHS bumped into tenth in the classification, with former #10 Walsenburg John Mall taking #9 away from Ordway Crowley County.
RFHS’ Meloneers continued holding down the #1 spot, followed by La Jara Centauri, Meeker, Norwood-Nucla, Hotchkiss, Paonia, Highland and Buena Vista before getting to JMHS and Ignacio.
The Maverick-Mustang co-op crew led the 2A/1A San Juan Basin League with four top-4’s, while Dove Creek had one individual so honored as did Dolores – Brandon Ward at 113 pounds, right behind second-ranked Bobcat junior Stocker Robbins.
Robbins trailed only Akron senior Tanner Watson, runner-up at 106 (Holmes had finished third at 138 pounds, Fraser second at 126) at last season’s Championships, in Yount’s calculated opinion.
After competing at the RMI, the ’Cats will next see action Friday, Jan. 15, on the road for a dual against non-league 2A Center beginning at 5 p.m. Staying well east of Wolf Creek Pass, Ignacio will then head north to put in work on the 16th at Salida’s Rob Mickel Memorial Invitational.
LAST TIME OUT
Prior to the New Year, IHS’ last action had come at the 2015 Piedra Vista High School/Herman Orthodontic Panther Classic down in Farmington, New Mexico on Dec. 19.
Individual results were not available, but the Bobcats took third place in the second-tier ‘Silver Bracket’ and seventh overall out of 16 teams competing. Ignacio defeated 5A Grants, N.M., 48-30, lost 48-33 to 4A Kirtland (N.M.) Central, held on to down the 6A Rio Rancho (N.M.) Cleveland ‘Silver’ roster 41-35, lost 54-22 to 5A Gallup (N.M.) Miyamura and ultimately edged 3A Bayfield 33-27 to finish 3-2 for the day.