Yuma has eight at state

It is the Great 8 once again for the Yuma High School wrestling team.
Qualifying eight wrestlers for the state tournament is pretty dang sweet, particularly if a few, or even half, can somehow find their way to the medal stand by the end of the tourney.

YHS wrestling has qualified eight for state several times in the past, including last season, and the expectation was to finally break the “eight” barrier last weekend at the Class 2A Region 3 Tournament in the NJC Bank of Colorado Events Center in Sterling.
Alas, it was not meant to be, but YHS wrestling still is sitting pretty with eight qualifying out of a very difficult regional, while also finishing third in the team standings behind only two-time defending state champion Wray and Highland.
“We’re real happy we’ve got eight going,” head coach Rory Lynch said. “We’re excited, and trying to make this week a fun and productive three days of practice.”
The coach noted that tough competition every day in the wrestling room by all the grapplers has led to success by the team overall.
“None of us make it unless we have a really tough room,” Lynch said.

Yuma High School wrestlers (clockwise from top left) John Smith, Lars Sims, Joey Ross, Cayden Lynch, Blaze Brophy, Yahir Trejo, Braden Smith and Alec Holtorf are competing in the Class 2A State Wrestling Championships, today through Saturday in the Pepsi Center. (Pioneer Photo)

State tournament action at the Pepsi Center begins today, February 20, with the first round of the 2A tournament at 2 p.m. Regional champs first wrestle fourth-place finishers from other regionals, while while second and third place regional placers are pitted against each other.
Sophomore Lars Sims leads the way after placing second at 285 pounds, last weekend in regional. Sims, 22-14, opens against Ignacio senior Randy Herrera, 15-9.
Senior Alec Holtorf finished third at regional at 120. He takes a 32-13 record into today’s preliminary round against Trinidad junior Alberto Felthager, 20-3.
Braden Smith finished third at regional at 126. The junior opens against North Park senior Destry Schmidt, 33-6.
Blaze Brophy also placed third at regional at 132. The junor opens state today against SICE’s junior Richard Atencio, 31-6.
Junior Joey Ross, 30-14, faces off against top-seed Wesley VanMatre. 38-2, a senior from John Mall, in today’s preliminary round after placing fourth at regional.
Sophomore Yahir Trejo is 23-19 after placing fourth at regional. He faces off against Soroco junior Kody Logan, 37-5, in the preliminary round.
Senior Cayden Lynch is 27-16 at 182, and takes on fellow senior Jaime Ibarra, 29-2, after placing fourth at regional.
John Smith is the fourth seed out of Region 3 at 113 pounds. The sophomore is 29-9, and opens state action today against John Mall junior Miguel Sanchez, 29-8.
Coach Lynch noted that while Region 3 is loaded with quality wrestlers, there are a lot of top-flight wrestlers and teams from throughout the state that have their sights set on winning in Denver.
“I’m hopeful we can go up there and show that eastern Colorado can hold their own,” he said.
After today’s preliminary round, the 2A tournament continues Friday at 9 a.m. with the championship quarterfinals, followed immediately by the first round of consolation.
Everyone who wins one of their first two matches will be in the second round of consolation at 5 p.m. Friday.
Those who win their first two matches will be in the championship quarterfinals beginning at 6:45 p.m.
Saturday is dominated by consolation rounds as wrestlers attempt to place in the top six of their respective eights and classifications. It begins with the third round of consolations at 10 a.m., immediately followed by the semifinal consolations, then fifth-place matches, and then the third-place matches.
The Pepsi Center then will be cleared, with the doors open again at 5:30 p.m.
The Parade of Champions is at 6:30 p.m., followed by the championship matches in all classifications.