Mesa wrestling coach welcomes prep teams to campus

It’s not a new concept. For the Mesa State College wrestling program, however, it’s one that fills the bill.

On Saturday, the college hosts the first Mesa State College high school duals tournament.

Mesa State wrestling coach Chuck Pipher got a good response for his first prep tournament. Saturday’s duals format drew 12 teams from throughout the state in all four classifications.

Pipher e-mailed every high school in Colorado, plus teams in Wyoming, Utah and New Mexico about the tournament.

He said the college has been looking to host a high school tournament since the Warrior Challenge returned to Central High School last year.

“Originally we wanted to do a college open on Sunday (after the high school tournament),” Pipher said.

Pipher and the Mesa State staff are still working on that possibility for next season.

In the interim, he’s got what he considers to be a solid lineup for Saturday.

Six mats will cover the Brownson Arena floor to accommodate the dozen teams.

Central is the only School District 51 team competing.

Seven other Western Slope schools, Paonia, Norwood, Hotchkiss, Glenwood Springs, Rangely, Olathe and Coal Ridge, entered the tournament.

From the Front Range come Legacy and Holy Family, along with Center and Dolores Huerta.

“We’d like it to grow to maybe 18 teams,” Pipher said of long-range plans that would include out-of-state teams.

In doing so, Pipher hopes the tournament will eventually become a two-day meet.

Paonia is ranked first in Class 2A by On the Mat with Norwood third and Rangely fifth.

Olathe is rated fourth and Hotchkiss fifth in 3A.

Legacy is ranked fourth and Central 13th in 5A.

The format calls for each team to wrestle five duals. The tournament begins at 9 a.m. and concludes with the final round starting at 4 p.m.

With teams coming from throughout the state, Pipher is expecting some excellent competition among teams that otherwise won’t wrestle against each other the remainder of the season.

“We want a class act here,” he said.


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