DENVER — Trent Shultz used to be protective of his little brother. Because that’s the way things are supposed to work.
But since Cohl put on 40 pounds, he’s no longer had to worry about that.
Trent, a senior at Mountain Vista, is searching for his second Class 5A state wrestling championship. Cohl is looking to match that accomplish. He’s just a sophomore, but he attends Ponderosa rather than Mountain Vista.
But there are no hard feelings. No sense of competition between the two. They wrestle at different weight classes – Tent at 195 and Cohl at 220 – so rather than having to one-up each other, they get to stand behind one another in support.
“It’s pretty cool,” Cohl said. “I get to see him warming up and I get to see him wrestle and it’s all awesome.”
Trent has been at Mountain Vista since he started high school. Cohl was looking for something a little different in terms of social interaction and traveling for wrestling. So Ponderosa was the best fit.
Even if they aren’t at the same school, they got to share an accomplishment a year ago by standing at the top of the podium at Pepsi Center. And they get to lean on each other when looking to get better and reach that mountain top again.
“It’s big,” Trent said. “It’s weird to say, but he probably has more experience wrestling than both our coaches. He sees things other people don’t. He sees things I don’t see and my coaches don’t see.”
And it’s paying off early. Trent advanced to Friday’s quarterfinals with a fall over Arapahoe’s Gannon Gosselin in 38 seconds.
Cohl had similar success, pinning Doherty’s Siandre Agaali’I in 59 seconds.
If their success continues to play out this way, they’ll stand tall once again as champions. Brothers united, even if under different banners.
Willits going for a fourth
Pueblo County senior Hunter Willits is aiming to become the 20th four-time state champion in Colorado high school wrestling history.
On Thursday, he opened his quest in the 4A 152-pound division with a pin of Grand Junction Central's Shaun Stepisnik in 1:20.
Willits will face Justus Strand of Greeley Central in the quarterfinals on Friday.
- Cherokee Trail's Max Gonzales won his match in 14 seconds, making it the fastest pin of the evening session.
- Prairie View's Noah Romero took his opponent in the 5A 138 division down in 17 seconds.
- Glenwood Springs' Myles Wilson, a returning champ in the 4A 182-pound bracket, pinned his first-round opponent in 18 seconds. That was the fastest pin of the 4A prelims.
- Pueblo West's Weston Junt won his match in 19 seconds.
- Grand Junction's Josiah Rider, a returning champ in 5A 145, pinned his foe in 30 seconds.
- In the 4A tournament, there were 55 total pins, 10 of which came in a minute or fewer.
- The 5A field had 51 pins, of which 15 came in less than a minute.
- Brighton and Pueblo East each had six pins as a team.
- The loaded 113-pound bracket in 4A features three returning champions. Each of the three won in the first round via a pin. They are Pueblo County's Josiah Nava (who won 4A's 106-pound title in 2015); Windsor's Will Vombaur (4A 106 title last season); and Jace Trujillo of Pueblo East (the defending 4A 113 champ). Nava and Vombaur will face one another in the second round. Trujillo is on the opposite side of the bracket.
- Grant Willits, Hunter's twin brother who wrestles at 4A 132 for Pueblo County, won his first match as he tries to become a three-time champion.
- Poudre's Jacob Greenwood, also seeking to become a three-time champ, pinned his first-round opponent in 3:47. He wrestles in 5A's 138 division.
- Brighton leads the 5A team race after the first day with 31 points. Defending champion Pomona is second with 28.5 points, followed by Poudre (26), Grand Junction (25.5) and Coronado (18).
- Reigning champion Pueblo County is on top of the 4A team leaderboard with 36 points. Pueblo East sits in second with 29, Greeley Central (27.5) is third, Cheyenne Mountain (25) is fourth, and Windsor (20.5) rounds out the top five.