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Local wrestlers face tough competition in Paonia

Escarcega, Matthews, Morreli crack top six at Screaming Eagle

Over the course of the last decade, the Screaming Eagle Invitational has evolved into one of the toughest regular season wrestling tournaments on Colorado’s Western Slope.

Thus, when wrestlers from Dolores High School, Mancos High School and Dove Creek High School competed in the one-day tournament in Paonia on Jan. 25, they did so knowing that they would need to perform at a high level if they hoped to pick up wins.

Escarcega leads Dolores

While victories at the Screaming Eagle Invitational proved difficult to come by for Dolores wrestlers, the Bears received a boost in the form of a standout performance by Bryan Escarcega, who placed fourth in the 220-pound weight class.

Among Escarcega’s wins were pins of John Mall High School’s Christopher Williams, Rangely High School’s Dalton Demowski and Meeker High School’s Tanner Musser. Escarcega’s losses came to Coal Ridge High School’s Kaden Lord and North Park High School’s Cordell Garriott.

Also picking up a wins for Dolores was Caleb Montoya, who finished 1-2 in the 145-pound weight class, and Gavin Baker, who finished 2-2 in the 170-pound weight class. Cael Schmittel finished 0-2 at 182-pounds and Joe Summers lost both of his matches in the heavyweight division.

Dolores placed nineteenth out of 23 teams in the team standings and Cedaredge High School finished first in the competitive tournament.

Matthews paces Mancos

Coming through with several solid performances against experienced opponents, Mancos freshman Ayden Matthews won three of his five matches and placed fifth overall in the Screaming Eagle’s 120-pound division.

Also cracking the top-six for the Bluejays was senior Breccen Morreli, who won three of his six matches and finished sixth in the tournament’s 145-pound division.

Trevor Paquin finished 1-2 at 126-pounds, Lane Greenlee won one of his three matches at 132-pounds, Briden Miera finished 1-2 at 145-pounds and Lot Martin finished 1-2 at 160-pounds. Andrew Ruatti and Ty Everett both finished 0-2 at the tournament.

Mancos placed 13th overall in the team standings.

Dove Creek wrestlers gain experience

Still learning the intricacies of high school wrestling and striving to improve each week, members of Dove Creek High School’s wrestling team struggled to win matches at the Screaming Eagle.

Among the Bulldogs’ wrestlers to win matches were Quaden Huffaker, who finished 1-2 at 106-pounds, Jayden Sanders, who finished 1-2 at 132-pounds and Gaige Cressler, who finished 1-2 at 138-pounds.

Jessy Gore competed in the 106-pound division and finished 0-2, while Dustin Glover competed in the 120-pound division and also finished 0-2.

Dove Creek finished 22nd overall in the 23-team tournament.

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