Central’s Casey Gorsett one of many wrestlers excited to test new divisions
Central's Casey Gorsett one of many wrestlers excited to test new divisions
Basketball is for the taller kids.
The smaller kids can always wrestle.
Casey Gorsett is one of those smaller kids, but he was so small his freshman year wrestling was pretty tough.
“I weighed about 70 pounds, but that did nothing but help me to be stronger as a wrestler,” he said. “I was wrestling people that weighed about 103 on JV. I didn’t win any matches, but it helped me to be better. I came back my sophomore year and started winning matches.”
The Central High School senior is up to 108 pounds now, but will still wrestle in the smallest weight class this season — 106 pounds, up from 103.
The National Federation of State High School Associations announced the changes in May. It’s the most significant weight change in 23 years. The new weight classes are 106, 113, 120, 126, 132, 138, 145, 152, 160, 170, 182, 195, 220 and 285.
The state of Colorado allows a two-pound weight allowance after Christmas, meaning a wrestler that weighs 108 pounds can wrestle at 106.
“I’m expecting to see some stronger, bigger kids come in after the Christmas break,” Gorsett said. “I’m ready for it.”
The reason for the change was because of the number of bigger children in high school now and to increase participation in wrestling. The wrestlers aren’t necessarily bigger at some schools.
Fruita Monument coach Dan Van Hoose said he has four wrestlers that don’t weigh 100 pounds competing for the 106-pound weight class.
“The only thing I dislike is the lightest weight is 106 now,” Grand Junction coach Cole Allison said. “After Christmas it will be 108 and you’ll have big kids dropping down. That was one of the great things about our sport, little guys were always a part of it. I have a couple 98-pound kids and 108 is too big for them.”
Palisade coach Brian Rush is fine with the lowest weight class at 106 pounds and is happy there is another upper weight class between the old 171 and 189 classes. He has a strong core of eight returning varsity wrestlers and four state qualifiers from his regional champion team. Daniel Salazar placed third at 125 pounds.
Central has 10 seniors on the team this season, but some of them are wrestling varsity for the first time like Gorsett. The Warriors have three returning state qualifiers in seniors Oscar Ruiz (113), Anthony Feller (145) and Willy Holdren (152). Holdren placed sixth at state at 145 last season.
Grand Junction has 10 returning wrestlers from the past season, including state placers Jessie Hoffschneider and Dylon Thompson.
Hoffschneider is fully healed from knee surgery, Allison said, and is ready to go. He tore a ligament in the Class 5A 145-pound state semifinals and wrestled through it in the finals. Thompson placed third at 119.
They will be surrounded by some young talent, including sophomore Louis Guillen, the grandson of three-time state champion Louie Guillen, and freshman Jacob Trujillo.
“My goal is not just to make varsity, but to make it to state,” Trujillo said. “I’m looking forward to high school wrestling since I started wrestling in elementary school.”
Junior Jonny Pauli (182) and sophomore Robbie Gonzales (195) could have big years for the Tigers and sophomore Jeff Christeliet will get a chance to wrestle on the varsity and start at 120.
Fruita Monument’s entire varsity team returns from last season, including seniors Dallas Bernal and Steve Tausch and state qualifier Ian Konrad. The sophomore is hoping to make it through the season without having back surgery.
The Wildcats will be young again with several sophomores and freshmen wrestling varsity, but don’t expect them to take a beating.
Many believe freshmen Isaac Rodriguez and Jacob Seeley can compete for a state medal. Rodriguez injured his shoulder in football, but is expected to wrestle by next weekend.