Bob Overturf's preseason wrestling workouts are over: Let the matches begin.
Overturf, the second-year head coach at Ignacio High School, will lead the Bobcats into the season-opening dual meet at
Durango High School at 7 tonight.
I've got a lot of kids out with injuries right now," Overturf said. We've got a couple hurt, a couple hurt from
football and a couple more with grades. But we'll be all right."
The Bobcats, who celebrated their move to Class 2A with a sixth-place finish in last year's State Tournament, are
intent on getting back to the state championships again this year.
A year ago, 10 Bobcats earned trips to state. Eight of those wrestlers are back this year.
We're short in some weight classes. But it's better than what we had last year," Overturf said. We never claim to be
a dual-meet team. We're more of a tournament team."
Leading the way for the Bobcats is sophomore Alex Peña, who won a state title last year at 112 pounds. The first
freshman at Ignacio High School to win a state wrestling championship, Peña compiled a 39-1 record last season.
He'll move up to 119 pounds this year.
Josh Plehinger, who finished second in state last year, will handle duties at 140 pounds for the Bobcats this
Also back is senior Chance Wyatt. He finished fourth at state last year.
This season, he's No. 3 in the early wrestling rankings in Class 2A at 215 pounds.
Brother Colton Wyatt (171) also returns with extensive experience from his freshman season.
I'm really looking for good things out of him this year," Overturf said.
Jeff Herrera (125) has been very sharp in early workouts, the Ignacio coach said.
He's a totally different kid this year. He's the hardest-working guy in the room," he said.
Casey Haga, a two-time state qualifier, also is back for the Bobcats as a junior.
Haga will wrestle at 135 or possibly 130.
He finished fifth in the State Tournament a year ago.
Casey's done a lot of extra work," Overturf said.
Taylor Smith, a freshman, likely will start at 103 pounds.
Hagan Sanchez, a sophomore, is targeted at 112 pounds.
Q. Diaz-Torres, another sophomore, will see matches at 130 pounds.
Ethan Pearson, a junior, will wrestle at 145 after he recovers from injury, Overturf said.
Derrick Naranjo, yet another sophomore, is set at 160.
Tanner Harwood, a transfer from Kansas, will wrestle heavyweight for Ignacio.
Some classes, like 189, will be open, Overturf said.
The Bobcats, with an eye on the big picture in Class 2A, have bolstered their schedule this year.
They'll head to Paonia in January for a dual meet against the defending 2A state champion Eagles.
They'll also wrestle one day later in the rugged, challenging Paonia Invitational.
When we go to Paonia, we'll know exactly where we stand as a team," Overturf said.
The Bobcats also will wrestle in Walsenburg again this season, where they'll see more competition from the regional
We're working hard, but we still have along way to go," Overturf said.
After tonight's dual at Durango, the Bobcats will host Pagosa Springs on Friday night.
On Saturday, the Bobcats will wrestle in the annual Wolverine Classic at Bayfield High School.