Montrose has new mission in prep wrestling


Fruita Monument will find out how it measures up against some of the top Utah high school programs Friday and Saturday in the Wasatch Intermountain Duals in Heber City, Utah. Grand Junction is competing in the Grandview Duals tournament and Palisade wrestles in the Sheridan Tournament on Saturday.

New Montrose High School wrestling coach Kevin Passehl is bringing some changes to the program this year.

Passehl wants to establish even more discipline and a tougher work ethic. This weekend should provide the Indians a good test.

Montrose (5-1) is the 15th-ranked team in Class 4A, according to On the Mat, and hosts Rifle on Thursday night, visits Central in a Southwestern League dual Friday night and then wrestles in the Maverick Duals on Saturday at Mesa State College.

“It’s good for us,” Passehl said. “It brings back the discipline and hard work. We’ll be tired by the end of Saturday, but we’ll work through it.”

Montrose is one of 15 teams in the Maverick Duals. The team bracket tournament begins at 8 a.m. The field includes defending Class 2A state champion Paonia, Class 3A state champion Centauri, Utah Class 1A state champion Monticello and five Colorado ranked teams. Central is the only Grand Valley school in the tournament.

“We had teams last week with not many kids, so we had a lot of forfeits,” Passehl said. “This weekend we’re not going to get that. There won’t be any easy match.”

Passehl takes over a Montrose program with five returning state qualifiers. Junior Drew Schumann (125) placed fifth last year at 112 pounds.

“Drew worked hard all summer,” Passehl said. “He is one of our top wrestlers. Saturday will be a good test for him.”

The Indians’ experience will help as they transition to a different style of wrestling under Passehl in an attempt to win a fourth straight Southwestern League title.

“I hope to bring some discipline to the program and a harder work ethic,” Passehl said. “We need to produce more in the classroom. We want to work harder than anybody.

“We get to state and don’t produce. My big goal is to work on being there in the end with Broomfield and Roosevelt (the two top-ranked programs in the state). That’s where discipline and work ethic pays off.”

Passehl is assisted by former Western State College wrestler Neal Samples.

Passehl wants to establish basic wrestling moves and a more aggressive offensive style of wrestling than the team was accustomed to in the past.

The Indians opened the season winning four of five duals in the Golden Duals Tournament. Montrose’s only loss came to the third ranked team in 5A, Pomona.

Vance Hawk (160), Jordan Passehl (189) and Braxten Franz (215) won all five of their matches in Golden. Mike Canavan (103), Geordon Hudson (112), Kyle Rogers (119), Kordell Bradshaw (125), Jerrod Jenkins (130), Marcus Velasquez (135) and Bryce Gaber (171) were 4-1.


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