Panthers place three; Church wins Classic

By Tamie Meck

Delta placed at three weights, including one champion, at the 41st annual Warrior Classic wrestling tournament.

Senior heavyweight Logan Church scored 34 team points and won four matches by technical fall on his way to his second straight Warrior title.

Brandon Harper made an impressive showing at the Warrior. Harper, who wrestles at 152, was seeded 44th and placed fifth. This is the first year Harper made the varsity squad, said head coach Clayton Curtis, and this weight was among the most competitive at the perennially highly competitive Warrior. Last year he wrestled some varsity matches, but was competing for the varsity position with senior Kole Roberts, at 145. "It was hard for him to crack the line-up the last couple of years," said Curtis.

This season Harper is 14-4 and ranked in the top 10 in state heading into the winter break.

One of three Delta wrestlers to win a quarterfinal match, sophomore Cody Sauve (138) placed sixth.

Delta scored 106 points to placed ninth out of 42 teams. With a few wrestlers battling injuries the team didn't do as well as they'd hoped, said Curtis.

Freshman Ben Koch (120) was one win away from placing and finished the tournament at 3-2. Senior Drake Horn was also one away from placing, going 3-2 for the tournament and scoring 13 points. Horn pinned his way to quarterfinals, where he lost by decision to 5A Pueblo South. Ayden Tucker (126), Brendon Starr (145), Kolby Keller (182) and Gauge Lockhart (220) also scored team points for Delta.

"This is a tough tournament," said Curtis. With multiple top-ranked schools and almost 400 wrestlers competing at the Warrior, statistically, "It's a tough place to place."