Upsets happen all of the time, we just don’t like them like this!

Letter of resignation from coach Corey McNellis after 15 years of service, 2 team state titles, and 8 consecutive Continental League Championships:

After much thought, prayer, and deliberation I have decided to step down as the Head Coach of the Ponderosa Wrestling team. There are many reasons why, but the one that matters most is that after 15 years of Coaching it just feels time for me to move on.

This program has been so important in my life that I cannot express it into words. I only hope that I have given back as much as I have received. I will always cherish my time with your son(s) and my greatest wish is that they grew as good human beings, they learned how to incorporate our creed into their life, they learned how to overcome obstacles in order to succeed, and that they look back on our time with fond memories.

Coach Rinaldis will act as the interim Head Coach while the process of hiring a new coach moves forward. Please trust that our Athletic Director, and former Wrestling Coach Tim Ottmann will do everything in his power to find the absolute best replacement, which I believe in the end will be Coach Rinaldis. If it is not, Tito is the ultimate team player and will support the new coach.

Thank you for your support and I will always wish your son and this program the very best.

Coach Corey McNellis

Statement from Coach Rinaldis:

I met coach McNellis when I was a Junior in 2002, since then he has been my truest friend. I have been his assistant for several years, and it has been one of my life’s honors. I am sad to see him go, but I know our friendship and his tutelage will persist. I owe much to this program, and I hope that as interim coach, I can give back even a fraction I was offered by former Head Coaches. If I am fortunate enough to earn the head coach position, I will do my best to put Mustangs in position to win matches. If I do not earn the position, trust that I want what is best is for Ponderosa Wrestling, and will fully support our new head coach.

Coach, you are my friend, you will be missed, I love you,


82nd Annual Colorado State Wrestling Tournament Concludes with 3 Mustang Finalist; 1 Champ

This past weekend, 6 Ponderosa wrestlers competed at the Pepsi Center for a state championship. Wrestlers included Senior Daniel Turco, Sophomore Korry Tunnicliff, Junior Thomas Dixon, Junior Parker Benekas, Junior Jayden Woodruff, Sophomore Cohlton Schultz. Turco, Tunnicliff, and Dixon wrestled a hard-fought tournament and unfortunately came up empty handed. It was tough to watch Senior Daniel Turco, who has arguable been one of Ponderosa’s most dedicated and hardest working wrestlers, fail to achieve his goal; he will be greatly missed. While facing elimination during the consolation round on Friday night, Turco, Tunnicliff, and Dixon made Ponderosa proud with their effort on the mat, even though they came up short.

Friday night’s Semi-finals on the other hand, played favorably for the Mustangs, who went 3 for 3 in the most exciting round of the tournament. Parker Benekas, 145 lbs, lead off with an exciting, yet low scoring victory against Xander Rens of Monarch. Jayden Woodruff, 182 lbs, sealed the deal early, pinning Fossil Ridge’s Nathen Meyer in 1:52. Finally, Cohlton Schultz followed suit, pinning Douglas County’s Micah Smith almost as quickly.

Saturday night, during the finals, Parker Benekas and Jayden Woodruff fell to very tough opponents. Cohlton Schultz, however, walked away with a 7-0 victory over Cherokee Trail’s Max Gonazales, to become a 2X Colorado State Champion.

To summarizes:
120 lbs Thomas Dixon, JR
145 lbs Parker Benekas, JR Runner-up
152 lbs Daniel Turco, SR
160 lbs Korry Tunnicliff, SO
182 lbs Jayden Woodruff, JR Runner-up
220 lbs Cohlton Schultz, SO Champion

Team finished in 9th place.

Schultz repeats All-American honors at Fargo Nationals

Ponderosa’s Cohlton Schultz recently competed in the country’s premiere Freestyle and Greco-Roman wrestling tournament in Fargo, North Dakota. The country’s top wrestlers meet here every July to vie for a top spot on the podium and this year, much like last year, Cohl proved dominate. During the cadet (age 15-16) Greco-Roman tournament, Cohl stormed through the competition, pinning or teching most of his opponents. However, in the quarter-finals, Cohl ran into trouble in opponent Curd from MO, falling 10-0. Cohl fought back in the consolation bracket to take 3rd. The freestyle tournament was another story. Curd had “poked the bear” in the Greco bracket and now would face Cohl in the semi-finals of the freestyle bracket. Cohl pinned or teched every opponent on his way to Curd, redeeming his loss with a convincing 15-4 victory over Curd. Cohl’s final match was an equally convincing victory, concluding Cohl’s 2016 Fargo competition with a 3rd in Greco and a Freestyle championship.