Wrestling: Half of city teams close to home for regionals



Eaglecrest, Smoky Hill sites for 5A Region 1, 2

The Aurora Sentinel
Published: Friday, February 13, 2009 11:54 AM MST
AURORA | The road to the Pepsi Center is a little shorter for five Aurora wrestling teams.

Half of the city’s 10 teams competing in Class 5A regional tournaments get the benefit of staying in Aurora as they take their shots at making the Feb. 19-21 state tournament in downtown Denver.

The top four wrestlers in the 14 weight classes at four regionals advance to the 5A state tournament.

Grandview plays host to Region 1 at Eaglecrest, with Overland rounding out the city contingent in the 16-team mix. Ponderosa, winner of the last six 5A state titles, and Pomona top the field.

Region 2 is set for Smoky Hill, with Aurora Central joining the host Buffaloes in a group featuring top-10 teams Loveland, Pine Creek and Coronado.

Smoky Hill coach Jim Opperman is hoping the home mat advantage pays off for his senior-laden team, with 152-pounder Matt Meyers and 160-pounder Shawn Miller leading the way.

“I thought it would be a good idea for the program to host a regional,” Opperman said. “It’s way easier on the kids when they are able to stay at home and be in their own comfort zone. I think it does give you a little bit of an edge.”

Grandview coach Greg Maestas’ teams typically haven’t needed much of an edge, as the Wolves — who took third as a team at last season's 5A state meet — have had at least seven qualifiers in the past five years.

Maestas believes he could realistically have anywhere from four to eight qualifiers — including senior 119-pounder Eric Wilson, a state champion last season who is shooting for his fourth trip to state.

“Our goal is always to take 14 guys, but of course that would be pushing it given the teams that will be there,” said Maestas, whose team captured its seventh straight Centennial League championship in its last dual of the season.

Gateway, Hinkley and Regis have a reasonable trip to Legacy High School in Broomfield for the Region 3 tournament, which could yield a host of city qualifiers. The Olys and Raiders are both strong, especially in the middle weights.

Cherokee Trail (in its first year in 5A) and Rangeview have a long trek to compete in the Region 4 group at Central of Grand Junction.


Feb. 13-14

Region 1 (at Eaglecrest H.S.)

Teams: Ponderosa, Standley Lake, Grandview, Pomona, Doherty, Sand Creek, Green Mountain, Fairview, Denver East, Columbine, Arapahoe, Overland, Highlands Ranch, Monarch, Eaglecrest, Fountain-Fort Carson

Schedule: Feb. 13: first round, 3 p.m.; quarterfinals/first round consolations, 6 p.m.

Feb. 14: 2nd round consolations; semifinals/consolation quarterfinals/consolation semifinals, 9:30 a.m.; parade of champions, first, third, fifth, wrestlebacks, 3 p.m.

Region 2 (at Smoky Hill H.S.)

Teams: Loveland, Coronado, Pine Creek, Mountain Range, Heritage, Boulder, Mountain Vista, Arvada West, Aurora Central, Horizon, Adams City, Palmer, Fort Collins, Montbello, D. North, Smoky Hill

Schedule: Feb. 13: first round, 3 p.m.; quarterfinals/first round consolations, 7 p.m.

Feb. 14: 2nd round consolations, 8:30 a.m.; semifinals/third round consolations, 10:15 a.m.; consolation semis, 1:30 p.m.; fifth-, third-place matches, 2:30 p.m.; championship matches, 3:30 p.m.; wrestlebacks (if necessary), 5:30 p.m.

Region 3 (at Legacy H.S.)

Teams: Legacy, Lakewood, Westminster, Regis, Chaparral, Brighton, Durango, Gateway, Fruita-Monument, Dakota Ridge, ThunderRidge, Air Academy, Abraham Lincoln, Thornton, Chatfield, Hinkley

Schedule: Feb. 13: first round, 3 p.m.

Feb. 14: 2nd round consolations, 8:30 a.m.; finals/place matches, 3 p.m.

Region 4 (at Central, G.J.)

Teams: Rocky Mountain, Northglenn, Central of Grand Junction, Centaurus, Douglas County, Poudre, Grand Junction, Ralston Valley, Cherokee Trail, Liberty, Rangeview, Rampart, Denver South, Cherry Creek, Bear Creek, George Washington