Bobby Gutierrez: Thankful for wrestling

Thank God for Thanksgiving, my all-time favorite holiday, with lots of family, friends, fun and food, a day just to be thankful, while enjoying all of our blessings.

There are many things to be thankful for and one special blessing to me, was when my brother, the one four years older than me, was introduced to wrestling, more than 50 years ago, as a fifth-grader.

My brother would come home from practice and show me the moves he learned, then drill them on me. He gave me a rug burn on my nose, which took more than a year to heal.

Thanksgiving also means it’s the final feast for many high school wrestlers before their diet changes, as live matches are just days away.

Thankful for my daughter and her family for hosting Thanksgiving in Greeley this year, allowing me time to reflect on our many blessings as we drive across our beautiful state from the Western Slope.

Following are some wrestling-related things for which I’m thankful for:

  • Thankful for the opportunities wrestling, the oldest sport in the world, has given me.
  • Thankful for getting to experience the thrill of victory and learn life lessons from losses.
  • Thankful for all of my coaches, teammates and supporters over the years and thankful for all current coaches, teammates and supporters for what they do for our youth, their programs and for our great sport.
  • Thankful for my former high school workout partners – my best friends then and my best friends now more than 40 years later.
  • Thankful for my hometown newspaper, the Rio Blanco Herald Times, employing me to cover a generation of athletes, seven state wrestling titles, 26 individual state championships, including Meeker’s first, four-time state champion and many state placers.
  • Thankful for Kevin Shaffer, founder of, for launching a new wrestling website;, as part of the Colorado Preps Network and thankful he asked me to help him cover the Western Slope.
  • Thankful for the opportunity to continue to make friends and build business relationships, with the wrestling community, as the common denominator.
  • Thankful for the opportunity to continue to record history, take pictures and promote the athletes of our great sport, as well as their communities and the businesses, who support them.
  • Thankful for the opportunity to watch wrestling grow in our state and do what I can to promote the same.
  • Thankful for Colorado Mesa University, my alma mater, for putting Colorado’s first college women’s wrestling team on the mat and getting to witness the first-ever dual meet of its kind in our state.
  • Thankful for the National Wrestling Coaches Association for bringing the 53rd annual All-Star Classic to Colorado for the first-time ever and the opportunity to watch some of our state and country’s best youth, high school, college, men and women wrestlers compete.
  • Thankful for Colorado Mesa University for hosting the CMU Duals next week, to start off the 2018-2019 high school wrestling season next week – more on the CMU Duals later.
  • Thankful for the sun shining, as we are about to start our Thanksgiving journey.

–See you on the side of the mat.

Bobby Gutierrez
About Bobby Gutierrez 4 Articles
Bobby Gutierrez loves high school sports, especially wrestling and has covered them for his hometown newspaper; the Rio Blanco Herald Times for more than 20 years. Bobby and his wife Wendy live in Meeker, Colorado, where they own and operate Wendll’s, an internet coffee shop, they have three grown children and eight grandchildren.