Summit High School wrestling prepares for challenging season as program experiences growing pains
The Summit High School wrestling team is back on the mat for the 2022-23 wrestling season.
Last season, Aidan Collins, Ethan Sicat, Luca Rizzo, Sylas Marsteller, PJ Trujillo and Wes Dennis competed at the 3A Region 1 wrestling tournament in Gunnison.
Out of the six athletes that competed in the regional tournament, only Aidan Collins made it to the 3A state wrestling tournament after placing second in the 138-pound weight class.
With Collins, Sicat, Rizzo and Marsteller graduating last year, the 2022-23 Summit wrestling team has a fair share of work to do this season. In total, the varsity roster is made up of four freshmen, three sophomores, four juniors and three seniors, many of whom have not yet wrestled at the regional or state level.
The Tigers will be led this season by junior Dennis, senior Trujillo and senior Tommy Romero.
“I am putting a lot of pressure on Tommy because he is a senior this year,” head coach Pete Baker said. “He’s been in the program. He may not put together the most wins, but he knows the program and he knows what to do. I am putting pressure on him to be a team leader.”
Baker recognizes that the team is in a bit of a rebuilding phase but is hopeful that he can meld this year’s roster into seasoned wrestlers who are prepared for future seasons.
“It’s going to be a really hard season due to just how young we are,” Baker said. “We are basically at a rebuilding stage. We have a couple of freshmen that are tough. They have a lot of grit, and they didn’t quit.”
Despite the lack of experience, he says the junior class shows huge signs of potential. Sylas Marsteller’s brother, Ronen Marsteller, will look to build on the experience he gained last season.
“I am really looking at Ronen this season,” Baker said. “He really developed into a wrestler at the end of last season and over the summer.”
Additionally, junior Ashley Misch is looking to take her rugby skills from the pitch to the mat as a wrestler.
Misch was a big part of the most recent Summit girls rugby team’s campaign, which culminated in a 15th consecutive state title this fall. When she was not delivering bone-crushing tackles, Misch was a vocal leader on the field for the Summit rugby program.
Misch will be joined by a fellow rugby teammate, sophomore Zuleyka Garcia. Misch and Garcia mark the first time the Summit wrestling team has had female wrestlers since the 2018-19 season when Monica Jimenez-Hernandez placed fifth at the state meet.
“It’s cool. We got two girls from the rugby team out,” Baker said. “The sport in the state of Colorado has finally grown where we have both a girls and boys division. I am really excited for the girls, and wish I could have more of the rugby team because those girls know what success tastes like.”
The Tigers got their season underway on Saturday, Dec. 3, when it competed at the Golden Duals wrestling tournament at Golden High School.
“We did good for being green this year,” Baker said. “Our strong wrestlers, like PJ, were out on concussion protocol. Skill- and depth-wise, we are real green.”
Despite the fact that over half of the athletes participating at Golden had never competed in a live wrestling match before, Baker was impressed by the performances of his team.
Summit was led by Marsteller in the 157-pound weight class and senior Mamadov Naduye in the 150-pound weight class. Working to knock off the rust that had settled during the offseason, both Marsteller and Naduye notched several wins in Golden.
“We didn’t get our hands raised as much, we didn’t win as many matches, but we did really good things,” Baker said. “We showed the moves we have been working on in the practice room and that they work. Every kid scored at some point in their match. I was real impressed by that.”
The Tigers will continue to grow and improve over the next week prior to the team’s next match on Saturday, Dec. 10, in Wheat Ridge.
“The team is excited to just get out there and wrestle and compete,” Baker said. “They are like young puppies when they look at you. And it’s cool because a lot of them have never wrestled before so they are learning something new.”
Dec. 3 at Golden Duals, 9 a.m.
Dec. 8 at Tri meet at Eagle Valley, 8:30 a.m.
Dec. 11 at Frank Palmeri Invite hosted by Wheat Ridge High School, 8:30 a.m.
Jan. 7 at Cowboy Invite Tournament hosted by Gunnison High School, 8:30 a.m.
Jan. 11 at Tri meet at Eagle Valley, 5 p.m.
Jan. 14 at Alameda International Invite, 9 a.m.
Jan. 28 at Mile High Classic hosted by Thomas Jefferson High School, TBA
Feb. 2 at Western Slope League Tournament hosted by Grand Junction Central High School, Noon
Feb. 10-11 at Regionals hosted by Lincoln High School, TBD
Feb. 16-18 at CHSAA State Tournament in Ball Arena, TBD
*Schedule is subject to change
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