Mustang wrestlers made Ponderosa history this weekend at the Colt Classic Invitational at Pueblo South. For the first time, Ponderosa wrestlers upset two number-one-ranked wrestlers in a single tournament. It is safe to assume that in the last 20 years, Ponderosa has upset a #1 wrestler 8-10 times (keep in mind the program’s long and storied history), but never before have they done it twice in the same tournament. Hunter Matney, 106lbs., dec. Andrew Lucero of Pueblo East 4-3 in the finals. Tanner Olson, 170lbs., dec. Austin Zuniga of Pueblo South 3-2. Both Mustangs secured early takedowns and controlled the remainder of the match. Keep an eye on the top of the podium come February; you’ll likely see these two young men.
That’s not all! Several other Mustangs had stellar performances including Tyler Turco, 152lbs., who upset #3 Jozef McLure of Adams City and #8 Zac Baker of CHeyenne Moutain on his road to a tournament title. Jayden Woodruff, 120lbs, pinned #4 Jaden Barela-Valdez of Swink in the finals to cap off an impressive tournament.
Rankings are a great way to gauge the quality of a wrestler. They are by no means a predictor of the outcome of a match. Some people hold rankings to be scripture and believe higher ranked-kids will not be beat. If that is the case, then why do they bother to wrestle the tournament? The true test of a great wrestler is that despite being an underdog, they find a way to win. Several Mustangs proved this weekend that they will be noticed, and they do damage. Throw those rankings out the window!
It’s hard to imagine that a wrestling program as storied and successful as Ponderosa’s can so succinctly be described by six little words. DESIRE, DEDICATION, AGGRESSION, HEART, RESPECT, FAMILY. Mustang wrestlers regularly recite and reflect upon these words; each having it’s own meaning to each individual. These words are not arranged in any particular order of importance, however, most save the best for last.
Family…Ponderosa has a long tradition of wrestlers, coaches, and parents that form a close bond in the cohesive cement mixer that is a wrestling team. This Wednesday we would like to honor Mustang Wrestling family members, past, present and future during our dual against Castle View High School. All wrestling alumni will enjoy free admission and recognition during the dual. JV kicks us off at 6pm, followed by Varsity at 7pm.
We look forward to seeing all of you that have helped build this program.
The Ponderosa Wrestling program has spent decades honoring excellence in a variety of forms, but more often than not, it is for the dedication and spirit unveiled on a mat. Although the storied program has much to celebrate, there is an aspect of life in this program that receives little attention: our scholar athletes. It is with this in mind that we draw your attention to a spectacular accomplishment of Sean Coneys.
Those, both inside and outside of the wrestling program, who know Sean have an appreciation for his intelligence and intellectual curiosity. He excels as a student in rigorous courses and has left an indelible mark outside the mat-room, but this piece is intended to honor a specific, and incredibly rare, event. Sean recently discovered that he had scored a perfect, 36 composite Score on his ACT.
At the end of every practice, Ponderosa’s wrestlers are reminded of our Creed, which works to set those who persevere and overcome tremendous obstacles during a grueling season apart from those who do not want to enter. This series of words is not intended to create a barrier, but instead provide something for these athletes to live “in” to – to lead, to lift, and to embrace a family. Sean embodies these characteristics, and although this is a unique and fantastic individual achievement, as a program, we are very proud to have him in our family.