The Monticello Buckaroo wrestlers came back from the holiday break with the same fire and intensity they had at the end of 2013.
For the first time in team history, the Buckaroo mat men brought home the first place team trophy from the Rocky Mountain Invitational in Pagosa Springs, CO.
Pagosa Springs has long been considered one of the toughest tournaments of the year, including the State Tournament. The Buckaroos came out 18 points ahead of second place Monte Vista and 30 points in front of third place Centauri.
Leading the team this week is senior Austin Wilcox. With two wins by fall, one in only 29 seconds, and an 8-3 victory in the finals, Wilcox joins former Buckaroo Aaron Butler as the only two Buckaroos to win the tournament three times.
Also wrestling in the finals and bringing home second place medals are Hunter Bowring, Dailyn Warren, Brandon Musselman, and Cole Eldredge. The four combined for seven wins by fall on the weekend and all fought hard in tough finals matches.
Shandon Bradford and Curtis Baird each had points wins in round one and falls in round two but came up short of the championship match with a loss in the semi-final round.
Both Buckaroos came back strong in the consolation finals to earn third place medals. Bradford came out on top in a 9-2 win and Baird finished with a pin in his final match.
Drew Baird and Jake Giles each brought home fifth place finishes. Baird lost a tough first round match but fought back hard, following up with four wins by fall. Giles earned a win by fall to earn his medal.
McKayd LaRose and Eric Anderson finished in 7th place for the Buckaroos. Both earned three wins by fall in the tournament. Alma Beh , Coltan Lee and Jose Santana each earned eighth place finishes at the tournament. Beh had a big 11-5 win and a win by fall. Santana also earned a win by fall.
Also wrestling for the Bucks are Brandin Clark, Chance Weahkee, Parker Lee and Dustin Christensen.
Earlier in the week five Buckaroo wrestlers represented the 1A team at the Utah All-Star Dual. The 1A team came in third at the dual, finishing behind the 5A team and a team made up of 3-5A All Stars.
This is the first time the 1A schools fielded their own team. With a third place finish, they proved that they could compete with the larger schools.
Brandon Musselman, Cole Eldredge and Austin Wilcox all earned wins for the 1A team. Musselman earned a win by fall early in the third period against his 3A opponent. Eldredge earned a big 14-4 win against his 3A opponent.
Wilcox fought hard for an exciting 3-1 win against his 3A opponent. Hunter Bowring fought hard but came up short with a loss.
Also representing MHS is Jr. High wrestler Zach Musselman, who is one of eight Jr. High wrestlers in the state to participate.
Tonight, the Buckaroos face Dolores in a dual match at Monticello High School at 7 p.m. and will travel to Orem for the Rocky Mountain Rumble over the weekend.