The West Grand Invitational was held this past weekend in Kremmling Co. 13 teams attended with a total of 99 wrestlers in attendance. While it was not the biggest tournament West of the mountains, it was a great tournament for some of the smaller teams going into the holiday break.
I was definitely looking forward to a few matches with some wrestlers that have moved up in the rankings but that was not to be as Hayden, Steamboat and Meeker sent some of their top wrestlers to the Warrior invite. As we all know going into the Christmas break we will see lots of weight changes coming back in the New Year. It will definitely change the rankings, which by the way if you aren’t already subscribed to “On The Mat Rankings w/ Tim Yount, definitely something you should do. He provides updated team as well as individual rankings each week and his up to date analysis on the season is always full of interesting scenarios. You can always find the top 5 or 6 here weekly at MileHigh Prep Report. All that aside, I did have the opportunity to chat w/ Head Coach Jared Todd from Buena Vista at the West Grand Invite. Buena Vista took the team title at this tournament with 197.5 points. Coach Todd feels really good about this season. Ranked #4 in the team standings right now, he has high hopes of placing in the top ten as a team at State in 2020. Last year the Demons were short of that goal, taking 5 wrestlers to State and leaving with a State Champion Micah Hertrich and 4th placer Carlos Hutchings. Hertrich a senior this year finished out the West Grand tourney with a Championship win.
I definitely have to make mention of a great 3rd and 4th place match at this tournament. Gene Bracegirdle (Soroco) 7-4, Sr. over Ely Ryszkowski (West Grand) 2-2, Jr. (MD 15-3). This was such an intense match where even though Ryszkowski was behind in points, he never showed any sign up giving up. The crowd was on their feet and cheering could be heard throughout the gym. I’m looking forward to watching both these wrestlers going forward in the season. North Park being the smallest team w/ 3 wrestlers held their own at this tournament. Senior Destry Schmidt took home the Championship at 132 lbs. and teammates Eli Houston and Cordell Garriott both took a spot on the podium. Schmidt continues to improve each week and has now moved up in the rankings to stand at #5 for 2A.
I always like to give a shout out to the hosting teams when they run a great tournament and West Grand did exactly that. Plenty of table help and matches were ran through pretty quickly. The only hold ups were the match time rule and even then, everyone was done early enough to get a little Holiday shopping in. Rounding out the team scores were Buena Vista 197.5, followed by West Grand 102.5 and Steamboat in 3rd, 85.0. I’m looking forward to seeing where everyone is going to end up weight wise in January. At the end of the day, what it really comes down to no matter what changes you make during the break, is and always will be……….. “The Heart of a Wrestler”.
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