Tigers pinned before matches ever begin
FARMER’S KORNER – The Summit High School wrestling season didn’t open quite the way the Tigers expected when injuries and forfeits reduced Thursday’s meet to a single match against Elizabeth.Injuries and eligibility issues on Summit’s part and a lack of wrestlers in several weight classes on Elizabeth’s part forced one or both of the teams to forfeit every weight class except for the 140-pound class. In that match, junior Tim Gurule lost to the Cardinals’ Cameron Rau after being pinned in the third period.”We do the best we can with what we have with the given situation,” said head coach Jim Melvin. “The kids were ready to wrestle.” The complications began when Melvin’s competitor for the 103-pound weight class, Kyle Hill, injured his hand at practice on Tuesday. Melvin said the injury was not serious, though Hill will likely miss the first two or three meets. Then freshmen Greg Johnson and Scott Campbell forfeited their matches because they had not fulfilled the Colorado High School Activities Association’s (CHSAA) mandatory nine-practice rule. The rule applies to any high school student who is participating in a CHSAA sanctioned sport. After several more matches were forfeited because Elizabeth had no players for some of the weight classes, only Gurule was left. Stephan Collard and Robert Phipps both took to the mat in exhibition matches with Elizabeth opponents from different weight classes. To add to the team’s difficulties, two of the Tigers’ key competitors, Andrew and Patrick Vawter-Beaird, have yet to return from a Thanksgiving vacation. The brothers will still have to attend nine practices upon their return next week. Despite his difficulties fielding a team Thursday night, Melvin is convinced the Tigers will be a powerful squad, beginning with the Panther Invite at Middle Park on Saturday. Melvin plans to have six wrestlers ready for Saturday’s meet, which begins at 9 a.m. Johnson and Campbell are both expected to fulfill their CHSAA requirements today and compete on Saturday.”We’re still counting on putting 10 kids on the mat once we get our practices in and recover from injury,” Melvin said. Richard Chittick can be reached at (970) 668-3998, ext. 236, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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