Earlier this week, Tim Yount with On The Mat released his preseason team rankings and at that time we simply listed the top 10 clubs in each classification. Now we have expanded information from Tim as he provides a team-by-team breakdown of each club inside the top 10. This list is for Classes 2A and 3A.
We also invite you to subscribe to Tim’s weekly newsletter on wrestling. He provides in-depth rankings of each weight division in each classification and routinely provides additional notes on the season. To sign up, simply contact him through email at Tim@onthematrankings.com.
In addition to the team notes, Tim Yount with On the Mat Rankings joined Colorado Preps this week for an audio preview of the season ahead. He looks at the top teams in each classification and also runs through some of the top individuals to keep an eye on. Tim also has a report in our 4A/5A preview and please note the first seven minutes of each report is identical as we talk about the season as a whole and the bounce back of working back from COVID last season.
1-Eaton. I don’t bet but I do think about odds a lot…and the fact is, the team to beat this year in Class 3A will be very small odds on favorite to win – Eaton. This is another team that is just covered with incredible athletes AND are coming off a FB season that saw them win a state title. I love their depth – from top to bottom – and with that there will be no resting when you have to go up against this squad in a dual. Points will also abound in tourneys. I see several high state placers – Alex Castaneda, Ryan Dirksen, Morgan Tribbett, Ryder True, and a big push of points from six other kids. If they close with eight placers, they win. If seven, it will be another tight team race in Class 3A. Coach Mustari knows how to transition kids from Football to wrestling in the few months that they have.
2-Moffat County. I have been taking about Moffat County all summer. This team is really deep and will score points in many places. They have experienced kids which makes them the dark horse favorite to challenge. They will be led by state placers Kaden Hixson, Pepper Rhyne and eight other regional placers, seven of whom who were home in 2021 at tourney time but will impact this year with four per weight making the trek downtown. This is my dark horse pick for a top six team finish and believe they will hide in the weeds through much of the season then jump up and shock the state come regionals and state.
3-Mullen. Mullen led by Coach Howes who just knows how to coach kids to top performances every year, will be returning a team of six kids that we see placing in state this year. I love the chances for Dale O’Blia who will start at 113 this season to win another title, someone we suspect will move to 106’s at some stage later in the season. How about Noah Linares, Mark Troni, Kaleb Valdez-Lemos, Gilbert Antillon and Haden Woodruff? Mullen will have many at state and the firepower to score BIG time.
4-Severance. Welcome to the top ten Severance High School. I really like what Coach Dare is doing with this team to the north. This team might not have a host of state placers returning (only two who will start the season – Colby Runner and Tommy Thomas), they will have a lock on the number of kids who were above .500 last year – Davonte Sisneros, Daniel Hall, Asher Hockett, Bobby Holt, Cody King, Joe Trygstad, Dominic Butts and Jake Shorb. Killian Schultz will enter the line up after the break. I love their depth which will also win them a host of duals during the season.
5-Platte Valley. Platte Valley is a team that super glues itself into a top ten finish every year. Even though their coach will never be satisfied with any ranking, I feel this is the year that this team will live in the top five positions. Led by nationally competitive, Jonathan Malovich (6th in VA Beach) and Lane Weimer (5th in 2021), this team has a host of regional place winners including Julian Marquez, Adrian Marquez, Cass Cure, Dillon Reisener, Orrin Jackson, Logan Curtis, and Brody White. This team is A LOT like Moffat County with so many kids who were so close to qualifying for state in 2021.
6-Valley. What was the last time that you didn’t see Valley in a top ten rankings? It has been a very long while. This team might not have some of the power points of previous years but they certainly have some depth in key areas which will help them. Colin Brown is back at 152, Cristian Corral has landed at 132 and Aiden Trujillo, who had a remarkable summer season will be one of the top 285 pounders in the U.S. This team will score from others but I am being patient with them as they find their groove in new weights.
7-Bennett. Bennett will mirror Jefferson in many ways – not a lot of depth but quality that will score big through the season. Led by John Faczak, Wesley DuBois and Isaak Copeland, the first two who placed and the other with amazing pedigree who will be back after injury in 2021, this team will crawl their way to a top ten finish because of that quality and other good kids who can score (Jordan, Olson, and Hawkins).
8-Jefferson. Also expected to impact will be Jefferson. Lead by two-time state champion Angelo Lozado, if they can get points from other stars like Silas Thompson, Daniel Soto, Samuel Rosales, and Jose Campos, this team could silence those who don’t feel a few big guns can get you a top five team finish.
9-Weld Central. Some guys have an eight pack…but Weld Central has a solid three pack – Robert Estrada (slating to be a three timer), Zane Stam, and Kane Fobare who will be shooting to carry this team into a top ten position. Expect this team, under the leadership of well respected coach, Elliot Copeland, to hover around the top ten all season.
10-Alamosa. The top scoring 3A high school in Colorado over the past decade – Alamosa – will challenge for a top ten position as well. Led by state runner-up Trevor Maestas at 132, back to help lead this team in scoring is Dempsey Gibbs, the top kid in his weight class in 2021 before injury and Kyler Liddell, also injured but returning to make a statement for this team. If Alamosa gets help from two other places, they will crest the number needed to be top ten this season.
11-Skyview. Last year, a great program at Skyview was forced to consolidate with Thornton and compete with other 5A teams. This year, the team is back at the school and will be one of the big teams to watch as they circle back on a 3A schedule that will help build some great confidence for them as a unit has great potential. Watch out for Gabriel Archuleta, Ezra Herrera, Isaac Ibarra and Brandon Gutierrez who will be this team’s stars for the 2022 season. But, they have potential with other kids as well to score well and cement a top ten finish at State. I will put my chips on them doing just that.
1-Buena Vista. Last year I was at a league meet with Coach Todd and said to him I felt his team had the firepower to win a title in Pueblo. Even though that didn’t quite happen, what he returns CAN do just that. Led by state champion Caleb Camp, this team will return State placers Chris Hutchings, Jackson Helmke, David Arellano, Haden Camp, Seth Moss and others with big mat experience. They will be the team to beat…and if they fill in around two other weights, will win by double digits based on our totals. If you don’t see this team this year and want to contend, you better schedule a dual with them soon 😊.
2-Centauri. You want to talk about motivated? Centauri finished won state in the football state playoffs and will head into the season with a team that is beat up some from the gridiron challenges. But, this team will ALSO be one of the top teams in the state. I love their depth and believe in Coach Keys’ ability to get this team to move late and position themselves for a title. They will be led by state placers Riley Valdez, Mario Vigil, Eyan Chavez, Erik Mestas, Zach Buhr, and Byron Shawcroft. If Centauri is to make up the deficit of TWO POINTS (behind Buena Vista), they will need to find two other kids to pull points at state for them. I see two that can do that so consider this a dead heat.
3-Wray. Class 2A will see their share of fireworks this season!! Wray was unseated in top last year but will return a host of kids who will position them at on the third rung of the ladder going into the season. Their power is around their top point scorerer from this past season – Brady Collins – alongside State Runner up Harrison Wade, Payton Wade and Caeden Bauer. Expected to place this year will be two others who have been close in the past and with the right bracketing, will score big for the Eagles.
4-Cedaredge. How about Cedaredge? This team is not only returning some stars in state champion Lane Hunsberger, but will add Tayton Nelson, Jory Hoerr, and Ty Walck all who placed this past season. Add several freshman who have more mat time than most of the teams in the state and you have a contender. Coach Garrison has had this team focused each state tourney…and will again this year.
5-Mancos. Okay, teams…one thing you need to do if at 2A is get to the western slope. There are so many teams there and another is fast rising Mancos. Led by all star coach Cole Allison (Grand Junction state champion team under his leadership in 2018) expect this team to yet again beat the cymbal. Led by Dillon Eichner (4th in 2021), Levi Martin (state champ), Ayden Matthews (SQ) and Chase Moore (SQ), the will earn the respect they deserve as a program that is learning to compete at the top! They will have others who will shock you as well so if you land in Mancos for a dual, come ready!
6-Highland. In Class 2A you will find that in many cases, programs often have four kids scoring that put you in contention for a top ten finish. That is usually around 55 points. Highland will be that team this season. Led by the amazing Zach Tittle at 145 and Jack Ring at 170, others will follow his lead including Greg Coy, Carter Jennings and Clayton Wood. Key for Highland will be filling in these other gaps…which they have shown the proclivity to do in previous seasons.
7-Meeker. Meeker will be making noise this year with a team that is loaded in several areas with great mat experience. Pure raw talent and a lot of heart will make this team one of the state’s top in 2A. Back are stars Trae Kennedy, Ty Goedert, Connor Blunt, Kelton Turner, Brandon Clatterbaugh, Judd Harvey and Tanner Musser. If this team can place all of these kids AND then get some production from two others, they can contend for a top three finish. Coach Watt knows how to do that as one of the top coaches in the State.
8-Rocky Ford. Every year…it is the same thing, Rocky Ford contending for a team title. Coach Jurney just continues to reload each season. As I said last year, they will always contend and their kids will battle you to the end. You will also not a tougher 2A schedule than Rocky Ford as well. This team has some firepower – Dominic Gauna, Dezmon Reyes, Benny Gonzales, Joe Zamora, and Kevin Tillman. Expect them to be in the top five and make noise as they always do. Can they fill in some gaps with kids lacking some mat time? They always do. Why not in 2022?
9-Crowley County. Consider Crowley County the team this year that just might shock you with their quality in tourneys as they have some fire power. With Dillon Buford, Case Buford, Tach Brewer, Skeeter Baker and Aidan Halloran, they could score with a few others this season. Key will be health and really assisting the other kids on his team who might be the difference between a top seven finish and out of the top ten. Watch them carefully as they will be ready come regionals.
10-John Mall. John Mall decided a few years ago that they were going to live in the top ten each season. Well, there they are again. Not surprising as they have some good quality on the team, just not a lot of kids to really show depth that they have had in the past. But, if they do get their big kids on a role, they will clearly eclipse enough points to be a top ten team throughout the season. Eddie Bowman could win a state title this season…and Tyler Martin and Wyatt Vigil will be competitive. Can Diego Sanchez help them close the gap?