Note: This week’s version of the Five Count has been abbreviated to a three-count: that means only two near-fall but still plenty of content. Here we go.
There’s a scene at the end of one of Marvel’s first (and best) movies in its insanely popular Cinematic Universe in which Tony Stark stands in front of a crowded room and declares that he is, in fact, Iron Man.
It’s a very cool scene and a very cool way to end a superhero movie, a genre known for the old hidden identity trope.
Anyway, all of that exposition was just to say this: Tony Star and/or Robert Downy, Jr. are not the only ones who can call themselves Ironman — at least not if he ever stepped foot on a wrestling mat here in Colorado.
That’s because Cohlton Schultz is the Ironman of the Mats.
Schultz, a three-time state champion, Greco World Champion, perennial world team contender, and best hair-haver, now lays claim to the mantle after claiming a second straight heavyweight title at the Walsh Jesuit Ironman in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio last weekend.
The Arizona State commit won the crown by beating another nationally ranked opponent, Navy-bound John Birchmeier (FloWrestling No. 5). The score was 6-0 in favor of the Ponderosa Mustang.
Schultz was presented with the Major Ray Mendoza Award for scoring the most team points (32) throughout the tournament, joining elite company such as Kyle Snyder (NCAA Champ, World Champ, Olympic Champ), Zain Retherford (NCAA Champ), Spencer Lee (NCAA Champ), Zahid Valencia (NCAA Champ) and other decently notable wrestling folk.
Schultz is aiming for his fourth Class 5A title this season. That, one might say, is his…Endgame. (Avengers: Endgame, coming soon to a theater near you).
1: Warrior Classic
There are a few big tournaments on deck this weekend, and this website would be remiss if it didn’t mention the Warrior Classic first and foremost.
What began as a small, eight-team get together in 1977 has blossomed into one of the biggest and baddest pre-holiday tournaments in not only the state, but the entire Rocky Mountain region.
Central-Grand Junction is again the site of the Warrior Classic, though cross-town rival Grand Junction (5A No. 3) returns as the two-time defending champ.
Hunter Tobiasson (5A No. 1, 220) and Dawson Collins (5A No. 1, 120) lead the charge for the Tigers as defending Warrior champs.
Who else is in the field, you might ask? Here are just a few highlights:
- 2A state champions Trey Geyer (No. 1, 126), Sean Dale (No. 1, 132), and No. 2 Cedaredge
- 2A No. 1 Sackett Chesnik (145) and No. 3 Paonia
- 3A state champion Wyatt Pfau (No. 1, 160) and No. 5 Brush
- 3A runner-up Cameron Lucero (No. 2, 145) and No. 3 Pagosa Springs
- 4A runner-up Jacob Gonzales (No. 2, 113) and No. 6 Pueblo Centennial
- 5A runner-up Alec Hargreaves (No. 1, 195) and No. 8 Rocky Mountain
- And a lot, lot more.
Buckle up for some Warrior-style wrestling on the Western Slope. You can follow the Warrior Classic live on TrackWrestling throughout the weekend:
2 (TWOOOOOOOO): Northern Colorado Christmas Tournament
Before things cool down during the holiday break, there’s another big-time tournament that will pack some spice.
The Northern Colorado Christmas Tournament has grown in popularity and toughness over the years, and this year’s edition has the makings of perhaps the best yet. Those in attendance include:
- 2A No. 5 Highland, No. 6 Centauri
- 3A No. 2 Jefferson, No. 4 Eaton, No. 8 Berthoud, No. 9 Woodland Park
- 4A No. 1 Windsor, No. 2 Pueblo East, No. 3 Pueblo County, No. 7 Discovery Canyon, No. 8 Roosevelt, No. 9 Longmont, No. 10 Coronado
- 5A No. 5 Legacy, No. 6 Castle View, No. 9 Brighton, No. 10 Valor Christian
In case you were keeping track at home, that’s 17 top-10 teams in the mix, including seven of the top-10 in Class 4A alone.
Now let’s look at a few of the potential match-ups we can get between top-three wrestlers alone. (*Rankings based on the Week 2 On The Mat release)
- 106: Brady Hankin, Woodland Park (3A No. 2 ); Anthony Franklin, Pueblo East (4A No. 2); Brady Parker, Windsor (4A No. 3); Kenny Sailas, Brighton (5A No. 1); Mitch Romero, Arvada West (5A No. 2)
- 113: Zach Dooley, Woodland Park (3A No. 2); Angelo Lozado, Jefferson (3A No. 3); Brendon Garcia, Pueblo County (4A No. 1); Jett Strickenberger, Discovery Canyon (4A No. 3); Vince Cornella, Monarch (5A No. 1); Dylan Kruse, Arvada West (5A No. 3)
- 120: Logan Lewis, Highland (2A No. 1); Isaiah Gamez, La Junta (3A No. 1); Malachi Contreras, Mountain View (4A No. 2); Bobby Macias, Thomas Jefferson (4A No. 3); Adrian Marquez, Castle View (5A No. 2)
- 126: Zach Tittle, Highland (2A No. 3); Will VomBaur, Windsor (4A No. 1); Patrick Allis, Discovery Canyon (4A No. 2); Ryan Roth, Pueblo East (4A No. 3); Isaiah Bradley, Overland (5A No. 3)
- 132: Dante Chirichingo, Highland (2A No. 2); Vance VomBaur, Windsor (4A No. 1); Angel Flores, Coronado (4A No. 2); Jace Trujillo, Pueblo East (4A No. 3)
- 138: Dylan Yancey, Eaton (3A No. 1); Andrew Sansburn, Jefferson (3A No. 2); Dominick Serrano, Windsor (4A No. 1); Randy Myers, Castle View (5A No. 2)
- 145: Austyn Binkly, Berthoud (3A No. 1); Jax Garoutte, Pueblo County (4A No. 1); Aaden Valdez, Pueblo East (4A No. 2): Ronny Minjarez, Windsor (4A No. 3); Joshua Deaguero, Adams City (5A No. 2); Alex Alvarez, Poudre (5A No. 3)
- 152: Nicholas Gallegos, Jefferson (3A No. 1); Josh Yancey, Platte Valley (3A No. 3); Andrew Alirez, Greeley Central (4A No. 1); Trevor Singleton, Pueblo County (4A No. 2); Kevin Hooks, Cheyenne Mountain (4A No. 3); Dakota Key, Legacy (5A No. 1); Antonio Segura, Regis (5A No. 3)
- 160: Jaziah Whaley, Valley (3A No. 2); Drake Engelking, Longmont (4A No. 1); KJ Kearns, Coronado (4A No. 2); Christopher Fasano, Pueblo County (4A No. 3); Austin McFadden, Prairie View (5A No. 1); Zachery Vannaman, Pine Creek (5A No. 2)
- 170: Ty Garnhart, Eaton (3A No. 2); Cody Eaton, Windsor (4A No. 1); Payton Polson, Valor Christian (5A No. 3)
- 182: Brock Johnson, Berthoud (3A No. 2); Isaiah Salazar, Windsor (4A No. 1); Jayson Davis, Pueblo County (4A No. 2); Brady Badwound, Air Academy (4A No. 3); Jake Welch, Valor Christian (5A No. 1); Kai Blake, Cherry Creek (5A No. 3)
- 195: Abe Leonard, Elizabeth (3A No. 3); Zion Freeman, Pueblo East (4A No. 1); Jared Volcic, Mesa Ridge (4A No. 2); Nick Gagliardi, Cheyenne Mountain (4A No. 3)
- 220: Dominic Robles, Pueblo East (4A No. 1); David Hoage, Smoky Hill (5A No. 2); Will Ponder, Monarch (5A No. 3)
- 285: Bennie Chacon, Centauri (2A No. 1); Jeremy Murano, Eaton (3A No. 1); Andy Garcia, Pueblo East (4A No. 1); Santana Solano, Brighton (5A No. 2); Adam Sepan, Castle View (5A No. 3)
Sheesh! And that’s not counting the many wrestlers who sit outside the top-three that will surely produce upsets and incredible matches throughout the two-day tournament.
The NCCT also has a separate girls’ tournament on tap for the first time, bringing together the top girls’ talent in the state on a premier stage.
3: Other tournaments
For most, it’s the final weekend of action before the two-week holiday break. The bad news? That’s two weekends without wrestling. The good news? That’s two extra pounds the wrestlers get upon returning.
That two additional pounds added on to the weight limit will certainly help a number of wrestlers make their final descent plan and reach their desired weight. Which means there will be plenty of shifting around in the new year.
But first, there is a slate of quality wrestling to be had one last time here in 2018 (save for those going to the Reno Tournament of Champions — more on that next week). Here are a few tourneys to watch throughout the weekend:
- Defending 2A champ and No. 1 Wray hosts the 56th Annual Bob Smith Invitational
- Cherokee Trail hosts the likes of Pueblo West (4A No. 4), Arapahoe, and more at the Holiday Duals
- Weld Central is the site of the 2018 Keith Kilker Memorial Duals
- The 31st Annual Forrest Davis Invite is scheduled at Sheridan High School
- John Mall’s annual Pete and Ina Gomez Invitational draws several small-school talents
- The Holly Christmas Tournament brings together schools from Colorado, Kansas, and beyond
- And in Kansas, the Meloneers of Rocky Ford represent Colorado at the Goodland Holiday Classic