Rieder’s hard work results in Class 2A finals berth
DENVER — Morgan Rieder’s brothers make sure they keep him focused and motivated.
Since his dad died of cancer when he was 5 years old, his three older brothers have made sure he works hard.
His brothers should be proud.
The Paonia High School junior had to work through exhaustion Friday night to advance to the Class 2A state finals tonight at the Pepsi Center. It is Rieder’s first appearance in the finals.
Paonia freshman Jesse Reed joined him with a semifinal victory.
Paonia remains in first place in the Class 2A team standings with 116.5 points. The Eagles have nine wrestlers in the consolation bracket. Rocky Ford is second with 86.5.
“The tournament will be won or lost (today),” Paonia coach Andy Pipher said. “You win a tournament through the back door and I think my kids know it.
“Every kid has to score points. It’s anybody’s deal.”
Rieder (32-6) advanced to the final with a 14-6 major decision over Baca County’s Terrell Stafford.
“I knew what I had to do,” Rieder said. “I worked my (tail) off. I put it all out there. I didn’t give up.”
He joins his brother, Alex, as a state finalist. Alex went on to wrestle at the University of Wyoming and is now an assistant coach for the Cowboys.
“He pushes me and gets me where I need,” Morgan Rieder said. “He does everything he can to help me.”
Another brother, Grayson, makes sure Morgan is motivated.
“He gets under my skin,” Morgan said.
Reed doesn’t have older brothers to push him, but his four older sisters toughened him up.
“Growing up with four sisters, they gang up on you to get what they want,” Reed said.
His dad took care of teaching him wrestling technique.
Robert Reed was a two-time state champion for Paonia and is an assistant coach.
“He helps me a lot,” Jesse Reed said. “He always pushes me. He’s always there for me.”
The 113-pound freshman (37-5) defeated Stetson Loader of Baca County 7-2 in the semifinals.
“He was a tough kid,” Reed said. “I had a game plan to keep the pressure on him.”
Loader is ranked No. 1.
“I expected Jesse to win,” Pipher said. “He’s tough. He works hard. He spends extra time after practice almost every night.”
Paonia seniors Cody Clawson (126), Adrian Lopez (138), Dustin Braslin (145), Kyler Bear (160), KC Christian (170) and Myles Cumpston (220) advanced in the consolation bracket along with freshman Josh Altman (106), junior Jorge Quinonez (152) and sophomore Tony Darling (285).
Meeker’s Justin Hardy (24-5) bounced back from a quarterfinal loss to win in the consolation bracket. The 170-pound senior is one win away from placing.