Iacovetto, Schlegel win league titles

The Soroco wrestling team crowned two champions, and Hayden finished fourth as a team at Saturday's Western Slope League Tournament in Paonia.

Paonia won the title, and Meeker finished second.

The Rams' Justin Iacovetto won the 103-pound championship, pinning Hayden's Zed Wheelock in the finals. Soroco's Joel Schlegel won the 112-pound title, defeating a wrestler from Paonia, 10-1, in the finals.

"They really won both handily," Rams coach Doug Gates said. "It helps a lot with regional seeding. They are above everyone else in the league."

Wheelock was the top Hayden wrestler, taking second.

"He looked very good," Tigers coach Ty Zabel said.

Hayden's Jake Magee was third at 140 pounds, and Isaac Haskins returned from an injury to take third at 152 pounds.

"Jake stepped it up this weekend," Zabel said. "He had a good day."

Soroco's Dennis Morgan was third at 189 pounds. Morgan ended up defeating a West Grand wrestler to whom he had previously lost.

Hayden's Dustin Jones (130), Chris DeBowes (135) and Coy Letlow (160) placed fourth, but not all Hayden's wrestlers, most of whom are underclassmen, placed as high as they had hoped or planned.

"We started off great," Zabel said. "It's a long season for a freshman. We are just getting worn down. From here on out, it's got to be all heart and working on that mental aspect of the game."

The middle school wrestling season is four weeks, maybe five, Zabel said. The high school season is four months and includes road trips and multiple-day events.

"The motels, getting up early, being able to maintain that intensity, it's a lot of learning," Zabel said.

"The freshman year is a lot of learning, but they aren't ones to give up."

Hayden and Soroco compete in the Rangely Tournament on Saturday.

"Hopefully we can wrestle well there and get some confidence," Zabel said.

With a lineup depleted by illness and injury, the Steamboat Springs wrestling team didn't score many points in its dual tournament in Manitou Springs on Saturday.

But wrestlers who did compete, fared well.

Steamboat sophomore Houston Mader was 4-0 on Saturday at 130 pounds and is wrestling well heading into the final two weeks of the regular season.

Andy Morell (135), A.J. Carmack (140) and Joey Melius (189) went 3-1 in the dual tournament. Varsity wrestlers Ben DeLine, Alex Centner, Luke Rummel and Tyler Harris sat out.

"All the matches we had, we won head to head except against Manitou, and they beat us pretty good. We are trying to get everyone healthy for Rifle (on Thursday) and possibly Valley this weekend," Steamboat coach Sean McCarthy said.

Steamboat travels to Rifle for a dual at 5 p.m. Thursday.

-- Pilot & Today staff

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