The spotlight will be on the Durango High School wrestling team tonight.
The Demons, circa 2012-13, will open the home season with a dual against Bloomfield, N.M., starting at 7 p.m. today in the wrestling gym (auxiliary gym) at DHS – under the center spotlight.
“We’d like to have a lot more out, but we have ... 23 wrestlers right now,” Durango head coach Doug Cuddie said.
“We’ve got 23 willing to work.
“The good thing is they are spread out ... we should fill 13 weight classes,” the fifth-year head coach said of the DHS lineup for the new season.
Fielding wrestlers in 13 of the 14 weight classes for Colorado prep wrestling will be a boon to the DHS program – one that qualified four wrestlers for the CHSAA State Championships last season.
“We’re happy with the turnout,” Cuddie said.
“We have some kids who will win matches. We’ll be a decent tournament team.”
Returning wrestlers for the Demons this season include 2012 state qualifiers Dillon Anthony, Matthew Lavengood and Nick Tarpley. The other DHS state qualifier from last year – heavyweight Trevor Gillen – graduated.
A DHS state qualifier from 2011, senior Clay Dillon, likely will wrestle at 126 pounds this year. He just missed a second trip to state last year.
“He’s a very good leader for us,” Cuddie said.
Lavengood will move up to 113 pounds this year.
“Just like last year, he won’t have to cut any weight,” Cuddie said.
Anthony likely will wrestle around 132.
Anthony and Lavengood each went 1-2 at the state tournament last year.
Tarpley, a junior, won two matches at state last year (2-2). He’s ticketed to wrestle at 152 this year.
Gustavson, an all-conference football player, is back on the mats as a 220-pound junior. He wrestled at DHS as a freshman before sitting out last season.
Other returning wrestlers for DHS include Lucas Sinnig (160) and Garrett Marcum (145). Both wrestled with the DHS varsity last season.
Patrick Cunnion, a sophomore, is back at 170 pounds; freshman Jack Madden likely will wrestle at 182 pounds; senior Demetre Cullison, a first-year wrestler, is set at 195; Morgan Walts, a junior, is set at 138.