Western Slope Teams Open Season at CMU Maverick Duals

Western Slope Teams
PHOTO BY BOBBY GUTIERREZ - Grand Junction Junior Dawson Collins (in green) opens the season ranked #1 in Class 5A at 120 pounds. Collins won the state title at 113 last year. He's shown here at the recent NWCA All-Star Classic in Denver where he defeated La Junta's Isaiah Gamez who opens the year #1 at 120 in Class 3A.

Colorado Mesa University will host 17 Western Slope wrestling teams in the 11th annual Maverick Duals in Brownson arena, including last year’s defending 5A state champions, the Grand Junction Tigers, as well as Paonia and Cedaredge who finished second and third in Class 2A last February.

The field will also include 4A Grand Junction Central, Montrose and Durango, along with 3A Montezuma-Cortez, Delta, Coal Ridge, Moffat County, Rifle, Bayfield, Olathe and Grand Valley. The Maverick Duals will feature many returning state qualifiers, including 23 state placers, along with the 2A state placers from, Hotchkiss, Ignacio and Meeker.

Tim Yount’s first official “On the Mat Rankings” were recently released and 26 wrestlers expected to compete in the 2018 Maverick Duals, will start the season ranked in the top four of their respective weight class.

The Maverick Duals will feature four defending state champions, where three of the four are in the same weight class, with only the 4A-120-pound state champ missing from the field. Eight wrestlers, who will start the season ranked No. 1 by On the Mat Rankings in their respective weights.

Grand Junction’s Dawson Collins, who finished second as a freshman and won the 113-pound 5A bracket last year, will also start the season ranked No. 1 at 120.

Trey Geyer and Sean Dale, both won 2A titles for Cedaredge and A.J. Serna of Grand Valley, won the 120-pound, 3A title for the Cardinals.

Geyer won the 120-pound bracket in 2A, beginning his quest of becoming a four-time state champion by winning as a freshman. Dale, a junior, won the 126-pound bracket last year. Both Geyer and Dale will start the season with No. 1 rankings but Serna will start the season ranked No. 2, behind Isaiah Gamez of La Junta, who placed third at 113 as a freshman and won the 113-pound class last year as a sophomore.

Grand Junction’s Hunter Tobiasson, who was a state runner-up last year at 220, will start his senior season ranked No. 1 at the same weight. Tobiasson’s teammate, who placed third at 170 last years will start ranked No. 2 at the same weight.

Sackett Chessnick and Grey Neal, both of Paonia and both state consolation champs last year, will both move up in weights and both will start the season ranked No. 1 – Chessnick at 145 and Neal at 160.

Meeker’s Tannen Kennedy, who finished as a 2A state runner-up at 138, will start his senior campaign, in search of his first state title, as the No. 1 ranked 152-pounder.

Bayfields Daniel Westbrook, who finished fifth last years at 220, will start the season as the No. 1 ranked 195-pounder.

On the Mat Rankings has Paonia teammates Anthony Felice and Jesse Burns, both seniors, both ranked No. 2 at 182. Felice finished third last year as at 170 and Burns was fourth at 160. Paonia teammate Levi Peterson, who finished as the 2A – 285-pound consolation champ, will start the season ranked No. 2 at 220.

Grand Junction Central’s Andres Martinez was a consolation champ last year at 132 and he will start the 2018-2019 season ranked fourth at 138 and his teammate Tanner Hickey, a two-time state qualifier, will start the season ranked No. 4 at 170.

Cedaredge’s Taj Van der Linde, who placed sixth as a sophomore and fifth last year, will start his senior season ranked No. 3 at 220.

Traycer Hall of Hotchkiss also placed fifth last year at 132, he will start the season ranked No. 2 at 138.

Ben Robuck placed sixth at 170 last year for the 4A Montrose Indians and will start the season ranked No. 2 at the same weight.

Matthew Braughton of 3A Montezuma-Cortez, placed fifth last year at 138, will start ranked No. 3 at 160 this year.

Cedaredge’s Arian Nieto placed fourth at 113 last year, will start this season ranked No. 3 at 132 and teammate Derek Sanchez will be the third ranked 285-pounder.

Paonia sophomore Anthony Miller will start ranked No. 3 at 195 and Aiden Burrios of Delta will start the season ranked No. 3 at 170 in 3A.

Dustin Sanchez placed sixth last year for Ignacio at 152 and will start the season ranked No. 4 at the same weight.

On the Mat Rankings, has Grand Junction starting the season ranked No. 3 in 5A, as will Paonia in 2A, with the Cedaredge Bruins ranked No. 2, both behind defending state champion Wray.

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.