Hotchkiss placed seven wrestlers and scored 127 points to tie with Meeker for fourth place at the 32nd annual Screaming Eagle wrestling tournament at Paonia High School.
One of four Bulldog wrestlers to compete in the first-place match, senior Landen Mayberry was seeded third in the 113-pound bracket and placed second on a loss to top-seeded senior Chris McKenna (26-4) of John Mall.
In the final seconds of his semifinal match, Mayberry upset No. 2 seed Dylan Zimmerman (20-3) of Hayden on a reversal for an 8-6 win. "I wanted to finish the match before it went into overtime," said Mayberry.
A senior, Mayberry won the Screaming Eagle title his junior year. He opened Saturday's tournament with a 19-second fall over Kael Mattics of Olathe. Getting to the championship match was "very important to me," he said. And while a back-to-back tournament win is nice, he's more focused on getting in shape and improving before the regional tournament on Feb. 15-16, and the state tournament that starts in three weeks. Wrestling the No. 1 seed would help to further that goal, he said.
Twenty-four, mostly 2A teams, and a handful of 3A and 4A teams competed at the tournament.
With all but one of the teams Hotchkiss will face at the regional tournament competing at Paonia, "The time to beat them is now," said head coach Richard Flores. "For us, this is important."
Four Bulldog wrestlers competed in the first-place championship match.
At 126, senior Presley Pene was the only Bulldog to win the title. He won on an injury default (3:24) against 21-3 junior Spencer Mader of 3A Steamboat Springs.
Senior Sergio Campos (132) was seeded second and won silver on a 9-5 loss to Anthony Aldretti (26-8) of John Mall. Because he started wrestling late in the season, Campos is one of a handful of Bulldog wrestlers who is behind in his mat time.
Sophomore heavyweight Christian Matus (14-7) also won silver on a fall (2:28) to Levi Peterson of Paonia. Matus and Peterson were the only wrestlers in the heavyweight bracket.
Traycer Hall (138, 9-4) and Anthony Scanlon (1-6, 11-16) finished fourth. Scanlon, a first-year sophomore, is impressive for a first-year wrestler, said Flores. "He just never quits." Junior JD Miller (145, 13-13) finished sixth and scored 10 team points, and Hector Elizalde (1-9), another first-year sophomore, also placed sixth.