Week 7 Glance: Top of the Rockies (and other things)

Hey. Hello. How’s it going out there, wrestling fans?

It’s already been a wild, thrilling, fun, and dare I say quick season so far. Colorado Wrestling Network has (sadly) not been as active this season as we were last season, but it’s certainly not for a lack of wanting to be. And hey, we’re here now! So let’s embrace the rest of the season and buckle up for what promises to be a wild week of wrestling.

This weekend’s docket boasts the annual star-studded Top of the Rockies Invitational at Centaurus High School in Lafayette this Friday and Saturday, and it’s shaping up to be as good as ever.

Among those slated to be in attendance are the top four teams in Class 5A — Pomona, Ponderosa, Rocky Mountain, and Grand Junction; four of the top five in Class 4A — Pueblo East (#2), Broomfield (#3), Pueblo County (#4) and Roosevelt (#5); Class 3A #2 Alamosa, and Class 2A #2 Rocky Ford. And that’s not even to mention the other slew of top-10 and out-of-state teams in the mix

Here’s a full list of teams:

Adams City
Alamosa
Arvada West
Brighton
Broomfield 4A #4
Centaurus Hs
Central
Central – Grand Junction 4A #9
Cherry Creek
Cheyenne East
Cleveland
Erie
Fort Lupton
Fort Morgan 3A #9
Grand Junction 5A #4
Grandview 5A #8
John Mall 2A #7
Legacy 5A #10
Monarch 5A #7
Mountain Vista
Pomona 5A #1
Ponderosa 5A #2
Poudre
Pueblo County 4A #3
Pueblo East 4A #2
Pueblo South
Rio Rancho
Rocky Ford 2A #2
Rocky Mountain 5A #3
Roosevelt 4A #5
Sacred Heart Cathedral Prep
Thompson Valley
Volcano Vista

Sheesh!

It’s going to be a doozy. I’m going to be there. You should be there. If you can’t be there, then be sure to follow along with us on Twitter at @COWrestlingNet, or check out the Trackwrestling dashboard here.

Now, what are some of the storylines to watch at Top of the Rockies (and around the state) this week? I’m so glad you asked.

Top-Ranked Wrestlers Atop The Rockies

Top of the Rockies, an annual juggernaut hosted by Centaurus High School and its, er, two cozy gyms, draws some of the top talent from across the state (and the region) each year. And the first edition of the new decade promises to be as spicy as ever. Here’s a quick breakdown just some of the top-ranked wrestlers slated to be in attendance this weekend (*Side note: these rankings are from week six and may have changed with the latest release from Tim Yount/On the Mat).

106

David Duran, Rocky Ford 2A #2
LJ Herburger, Pueblo East 4A #2
Noah Lopez, Erie 4A #3
Frankie Sanchez, Grandview 5A #1
Tony Garcia Lopez, Poudre 5A #3

113

Brandon Reveles, Alamosa 3A #4
Eric Griego, Pueblo County 4A #1
Davian Sandoval, Grand Junction Central 4A #2
Kenny Sailas, Brighton 5A #1

120

Davion Chavez, Alamosa 3A #3
Weston Dalton, Pueblo East 4A #1
Dawson Collins, Grand Junction 5A #1
Elijah Olguin, Pomona 5A #2
Ryan Kuykendall, Monarch 5A #3

126

Jacob Duran, Fort Lupton 3A #1
Will Loecke, Roosevelt 4A #2
Ryan Vigil, Broomfield 4A #3
Vince Cornella, Monarch 5A #1
Murphy Menke, Ponderosa 5A #2
Jakob Romero, Pomona 5A #3

Certainly the case could be made for any of these brackets to be *the* bracket to watch, but the 126-pound division might really be the bracket. I remember a couple of years ago when Monarch’s Vince Cornella really burst onto the scene at this tournament, and he has been on a tear ever since (just look at the two state championship brackets he has at home). Jacob Duran also has the moniker of ‘state champion’ tied to his name, and he appears to be getting as healthy as he’s been in quite some time. Oh, and the other guys? They aren’t just some other guys. Should be a fun one.

132

Colton Liddell, Alamosa 3A #2
Brendan Jones, Fort Morgan 3A #4
Luke Pleasant, Grand Junction Central 4A #2
Clayton Robinson, Roosevelt 4A #3
Jaron Mahler, Ponderosa 5A #1
Kieran Thompson, Grand Junction 5A #3
Max Franz, Cherry Creek 5A #4

138

Darren Green, Broomfield 4A #2
Jagger Wade, Grand Junction Central 4A #4
Daniel Cardenas, Pomona 5A #1
Kolten Strait, Rocky Mountain 5A #2
Traevin Osborn, Ponderosa 5A #3
Dean Noble, Poudre 5A #4

There are many ways this weight class could shake out, but Green and Cardenas are definitely the two I’ll be watching closely. Collision course?

145

Wesley Van Matre, John Mall 2A #1
Cael Langford, Fort Morgan 3A #2
Aaden Valdez, Pueblo East 4A #1
Juan Garcia, Roosevelt 4A #3
Joshua Deaguero, Adams City 5A #2
Joey Joiner, Legacy 5A #3

Wesley VanMatre is (perhaps too quietly) one of the four wrestlers in the state aiming for a fourth state title this year. The senior, hailing from the tiny mountain town of Walsenburg, is out to make his mark on the big stage. He’s been nothing short of spectacular this season, already defeating the likes of Garcia (9-5 dec.) earlier in his senior campaign. But now his chance to gain a few extra set of eyeballs on him and represent for the small-but-mighty 2A factions. Would love to see a VanMatre vs. Valdez matchup.

152

Anthony Aldretti, John Mall 2A #3
Gage Bernall, Pomona 5A #1
Antonio Guerrero, Brighton 5A #4

160

Jadon Baldonado, Rocky Ford 2A #4
Jaxon Garoutte, Pueblo County 4A #2
Chase Engelhardt, Thompson Valley 4A #3
Roman Cruz, Pomona 5A #1
Christian Hafey, Grand Junction 5A #3

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it a million more times…Jax Garoutte is one of the premier stance motion/takedown specialists we have in Colorado. He’s a lot of fun to watch, and it’s why he’s coming off a second place finish at the Battle for the Belt in California. Pomona’s Roman Cruz is a talented sophomore who has spent most of the season wrestling at 170. He’s sure to make some noise if in fact he drops to 60’s.

170

Hunter Smith, Alamosa 3A #4
Diego Duarte, Pueblo East 4A #3
Xavier Freeman, Pueblo East 4A #4
Trey Hardy, Rocky Mountain 5A #3
Kayden Johnson, Ponderosa 5A #4

182

Brian Paxton, Fort Morgan 3A #2
Matt Kinerson, Rocky Mountain 5A #1
Grady Funk, Legacy 5A #3
Joe Renner, Grandview 5A #4

195

Bryce Garcia, Pueblo County 4A #2
Miles Beam, Roosevelt 4A #3
Franklin Cruz, Pomona 5A #1
Alec Hargreaves, Rocky Mountain 5A #2

220

Jesse Tapia, Rocky Ford 2A #2
Bryant Walker, Broomfield 4A #1
Gavin Howes, Pueblo County 4A #3
Dylan BravoPacker, Brighton 5A #2
Ian Tullos, Cherry Creek 5A #3

285

Andy Garcia, Pueblo East 4A #1
Tyler Carpenter, Broomfield 4A #2
Junious Gooden, Grand Junction 5A #3

Top of the Rockies spectators have been spoiled when it comes to waiting for the last match of the night in recent years. That’s because former Ponderosa stud Cohlton Schultz was there to put on a show for those who stuck around to the very end. This year is really no different. Another one of Colorado’s potential four-timers, Andy Garcia of Pueblo East, will be in the building after missing last year’s TOR. Could we see another 4A state finals preview with the reigning 3x champ and Tyler Carpenter of Broomfield?

Out-of-Towners

While many top-ranked teams will be gathering at TOR, there are some others to watch around the state (and elsewhere) this weekend. That includes both Wray (2A #1) and Windsor (4A #1), which are both leaving Colorful Colorado to compete with some of the region’s challengers. Wray, now with 100% more Tyler Collins in the lineup (the returning state finalist had missed the first half of the season before scoring a pin the other night in his season debut), is heading off to the Chase County Invitational in Nebraska.

Meanwhile the Wizards are heading off to the Rockwell Rumble in Utah. Their last trip out of state was to the prestigious Doc Buchanan Invite in California earlier this month, and a pair of wrestlers brought back one of the most coveted prizes on the prep wrestling season — a Doc B cowboy hat. Those would be seniors Dominick Serrano (132) and Isaiah Salazar (182), who have continued blazing through the competition as they seek to become the state’s first pair of teammates to win a fourth state title in the same year.

Meanwhile in 3A, it is Jefferson which comes in as Tim Yount’s newly ranked No. 1 team (again). The Saints will be heading to the Alameda Invite this weekend.

Coming soon…

In other (very exciting) news, one of the most captivating stories in Colorado prep wrestling history comes to life inĀ Unmatched: Prep Wrestling’s Epic Chronicle written by Colorado’s own Brady Buck. This book tells the tale of the historic, wild, and one-of-a-kind matchup between Tom Clum and Brett Roller, including the leadup and fallout of that wild night in Denver. Check out the book trailer below and stay tuned for some more info about the book here soon.

Nick Jurney
About Nick Jurney 131 Articles
Nick Jurney is a former wrestler and previously worked as a sports writer at the Pueblo Chieftain. He now works in marketing for Colorado State University in Fort Collins and helps run the Colorado Wrestling Network. You can follow him on Twitter @NVJurney.