Delta County has reason to be proud of its high school wrestling squads. Grapplers from Cedaredge, Delta, Hotchkiss and Paonia high schools participated in the Western Slope’s most challenging tournament of the regular season, the Warrior Classic hosted by Grand Junction-Central High School.
Grey Neal of Paonia High School won the championship at 160 pounds as he defeated Tanner Baumgartner of Weld Central High School via 6-4 decision. On his path to the championship, the dominant senior won four matches via fall.
Hotchkiss High School senior J.D. Miller placed a commendable second place in the highly competitive 145-pound weight class. En route to his championship match, Miller earned three falls. He also had one decision victory.
In the 195-pound division, Gauge Lockhart of Delta placed third following a fall over Paonia’s Anthony Miller. In earlier matches, Lockhart won one match by fall and two via major decisions.
Miller had a quality tournament with three falls of his own.
Lane Hunsberger, Cedaredge’s 113-pound grappler, claimed the third place medal with a 10-2 major decision victory over Trevor Torrez of Pagosa Springs High School. The talented sophomore also had two falls and a major decision during the tournament.
At 126 pounds, Cedaredge’s Trey Geyer earned third place hardware with a 12-4 major decision over Demetrio Archuleta of Piedra Vista High School, New Mexico. Geyer also won twice via major decision and two by way of fall in the tournament.
Jace Peebles of Hotchkiss earned a fourth place medal after a successful tournament at 170 pounds. Along the way, Peebles earned four falls and one decision victory.
At 152 pounds, Paonia’s Zeb Etter placed fourth, and Hotchkiss’ Traycer Hall took fifth. Etter had to forfeit the third place match to Daniel Caddy of Moffat County High School. Earlier, Etter had won via fall over three opponents and also won a decision. Hall won by fall over Fruita Monument’s Jeremiah Williams to earn his fifth place award. Prior to that match, Hall had picked up two falls.
Christian Matus of Hotchkiss claimed some hardware with a fifth place finish in the 285-pound weight class as he won by fall over Zaq Bernal of Alamosa. During the tournament, Matus also earned three falls and a decision victory.
Before being eliminated, numerous Delta County wrestlers earned at least one victory at the tournament to score points for their respective teams. For Cedaredge: Adrian Nieto, Ty Walck, Lucas Hoerr, AJ Robidoux and Jory Hoerr all won matches. Derek Sanchez also picked up a win by disqualification.
Kyle Chaffin, Ben Koch, Jarrin Crandall, Timothy Horn, Griffith, Brandon Butler and Eli Miramontes all picked up wins for Delta. Robert Cochran of Hotchkiss also earned points, and Reagan Todd and Austyn Norris of Paonia also claimed wins.
Hotchkiss placed eighth with 95 points, while Paonia finished in 10th with 85. Cedaredge scored 73 points, which was good for 14th place and Delta compiled 52 points for 19th in the standings. Uintah High School, Utah, took the team title with 208.5 points, while Rocky Mountain High School claimed the runner-up spot with 195.5 points.
Following the winter break, Cedaredge hosts Coal Ridge High School for a dual on Jan. 10 at 5 p.m. The team will also participate in the Eagle Valley High School tournament the following day.
Delta grapplers will be at Uintah High School, Utah, Jan. 10-11. Hotchkiss wrestlers have a dual at Olathe High School on Jan. 9 and a dual at Gunnison High School on Jan. 11. Paonia’s team will be at the Vernal, Utah, tournament Jan. 10-11.