Basalt wrestlers roll out welcome mat |

Basalt wrestlers roll out welcome mat

Aspen Times Staff Report

The Basalt High School wrestling team takes to the mat for its season opener tomorrow night at 6 p.m. in Basalt.

The Longhorns, coming off an 11-5 record in dual meets last year, will host Eagle Valley and Steamboat Springs in a tri-meet format Thursday.

“Eagle Valley is always tough,” Basalt coach Rob Grumley said. “They’re young this year but they’ve got a strong wrestling tradition. We barely beat them in a dual meet last year.”

The coach said he didn’t know too much about the Steamboat Springs grapplers this year.

The Basalt wrestling team began practicing Nov. 13, though the team hasn’t had any scrimmages or preseason matches yet. A total of 25 wrestlers are on the team, Grumley said.

“Basalt’s a melting pot of the valley for wrestling because we’re the only team,” he said. Longhorn wrestlers are primarily Basalt High student-athletes, though others come from Glenwood Springs, Carbondale and Basalt’s Alpine Christian Academy for lack of any alternative.

A trio of Basalt seniors are expected to have strong individual seasons, Grumley said.

Mica Kentz, at 130 or 135 pounds, qualified for the state tournament last year and finished in the top eight, along with heavyweight Jeremy Everding.

“They both got really good experience at states, and that will pay off for them,” the coach said. “They know what to expect.”

Chris Cottle, who is expected to wrestle at 135 or 140 pounds, is another Basalt grappler to watch this season.

“We’ve got a good group and good numbers,” Grumley said.

On Saturday, Basalt travels to Hotchkiss, the defending Class 3A state champions. Hotchkiss is hosting an eight-team tournament that will include Alamosa, one of the top Class 4A teams in Colorado, Grumley said.

After tomorrow night, Basalt doesn’t host a match for nearly two months, until Jan. 25 against Meeker.

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