Keeling takes second place at Evergreen’s Cougar Invite
EVERGREEN – Don’t look now, but in the midst of a season built around vastly improved numbers, one athlete on the Summit High School wrestling team is turning into one of the region’s most dangerous 130-pounders.Charles Keeling, the team captain and lone senior, went 3-1 and took second place Saturday at the 18-team Cougar Invite at Evergreen. Keeling pinned all three of his early round opponents before losing in the finals to an experienced and talented grappler from Doherty.The day’s success brought Keeling’s season record to 13-7 overall, including 12 pins. He is also still unbeaten in dual league matches.
“Things are just starting to come together for him,” SHS head coach Jim Melvin said of Keeling, who boasts a 3.97 GPA and ranks eighth in his class. “He’s wrestling smarter, really sticking to the fundamentals.”Keeling kept his pins fresh on Saturday, using three different moves to win his matches. He employed a Country Boy, a Half Nelson and a Stack to get to the finals.In addition, Keeling has been playing his role as a leader beautifully. “He’s definitely presenting a good example for the other guys,” Melvin said. “He gives them something to shoot for. When they see him do it, they think, ‘I can do that, too.'”
Junior Andrew Vawter-Beaird joined Keeling in the win column on Saturday, going 2-3 on the day. He took sixth place in the 119-pound weight class.This year, Melvin’s first at the helm since taking over for Scotty Giles, the Tigers also have enjoyed increased participation across the board. They’ve entered as many as nine wrestlers in meets, a significant overhaul from years past, when as few as three or four competed. Speaking about all of his kids, Melvin said, “Everyone’s wrestling a lot better on their feet. Smarter and tougher.”
Melvin, like he has in the past this season, credited technique coach Troy McIlravy with getting the Tigers on the right path.Summit returns to competition on Saturday, at the team-oriented Rifle Invitational.Devon O’Neil can be contacted at (970) 668-3998, ext. 231, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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