DENVER – Time to party like it’s 1988.
Thirty years had passed since Wray brought home its last wrestling state title. But that drought is now over after the Eagles captured the Class 2A team championship on Saturday at Pepsi Center.
It adds to an already impressive resume for the storied program, which is now tied for the most team titles in state history with 12. The Eagles share that honor with Rocky Ford, last year’s 2A champion.
“At the beginning of the year, I pointed at the wall and told the kids, ‘It’s been 30 years. Wouldn’t it be nice to get another one up there sometime?’,” 11th-year coach Matt Brown said jokingly. “We’re satisfied. It’s great to show everybody that the hard work is paying off.”
Wray’s dominant run to the team title, which was clinched before the final matches even began, was powered by 13 wrestlers who represented all but one of the tournament’s weight classes.
The Eagles also boasted two individual championships as sophomore Cade Rockwell won by 3-1 decision at 113 pounds and junior Carlos Tarin claimed 170 by fall at 5:28. Chipping in place-wise for Wray were Junior Arambula, who finished runner-up in 126, and Cole Rockwell and Tyler Collins in third place of 106 and 132, respectively.
Wray’s victory was settled convincingly, finishing with 197.5 total points – more than 50 ahead of runner-up Paonia.
Saturday night’s finale to both the season and their high-school careers was a little extra special for two 2A wrestlers. Both Dahlton McGhee of Fowler and Soroco’s Sky Carlson wrapped up the final match of their senior seasons with their first state titles, both doing so with perfect records.
McGhee won the 195 class by 7-2 decision to finish the year 42-0. Carlson edged his opponent in the 220 class 2-1 to improve his season mark to 39-0.
“It’s pretty special. This season has been a lot of fun,” Carlson said. “This definitely feels really good.”
Wesley VanMatre and Keegan Bean had both been here before. That still didn’t change how special it was.
VanMatre, a sophomore from John Mall, won his first title last year in the 120 class. This time around, a 3-1 decision led him to another individual title at 132.
“It’s even more special this time around,” VanMatre said. “The biggest difference was the experience with nerves and keeping calm, but still never get used to this feeling. I can’t even put it into words.”
Bean, a senior from Lyons, remained in the same class he was victorious a year ago. His picked up his second championship Saturday via 2-1 decision at 182.
Eight other wrestlers went home with their first individual titles. Seth McFall of Fowler started things off with a major decision victory (14-3) at the opening 106 class.
Then, after more than 30 years without a state champion wrestler, Cedaredge went back-to-back with individual titles at 120 and 126. Trey Geyer posted a 16-3 major decision win first for the Bruins, and teammate Sean Dale followed with a 2-0 victory of his own.
Rocky Ford had three individual championships to finish third in the team race (136.5 points). Carlos Romo won by 10-1 major decision at 145, Diego Reyes won 160 by 7-2, and heavyweight Greg Garcia closed the night out with a 3-2 decision at 285 for the Meloneers.
Burlington’s Cody Jacobsen claimed 138 by fall at 5:17, and County Line's Trevor Randel won 152 with a 4-3 decision.