The Yuma High School wrestling team definitely is being challenged as it nears the end of the regular season.

The Indians had a dual at rival Wray, the top-ranked team and defending state champion in Class 2A, last Thursday, then were one of only three 2A schools in the Northglenn Tournament on Saturday. They were at Wiggins for a dual this past Tuesday night, and now make a long trip to Lamar for a triangular with the host team and County Line, both strong squads.

They will close out the regular season Saturday at the Stratton Invitational, followed by an extended break to prepare for regional, which is February 15-16.

“We told our kids we’re doing this because we want to see different wrestlers and be challenged, because that’s what we need at this point in the season,” head coach Rory Lynch said.

Yuma, and its fans, knew it would be a tough road in the Eagles’ Nest, last Thursday night. Wray wrestling has rekindled the extended glory days of the Bob Smith era, winning the team title last February and loaded at every weight again this season.

Blaze Brophy has the upperhand while on his way to winning his match at the Yuma-Wray dual, January 24 in Wray. (Pioneer Photo)

The Indians, however, competed well in several of the matches, but in the end won only two, as Wray claimed a 63-7 dual win.

Alec Holtorf claimed Yuma’s first win at 120 pounds, beating Dax Collins in a close 10-8 decision. Two matches later, Blaze Brophy took a 9-0 major decision over Dillon Schmidt at 132.

Yuma showed well in several of the other matches, though. Braden Smith lost by just one, a 5-4 decision to Reid Brown at 126. John Smith battled hard in an 8-3 loss to Cole Rockwell at 106. Tarren McDonald had a good match going until being turned and pinned by Ty Hardesty at 182. Cayden Lynch battled hard while going the distance in a 7-2 los to Carson Berghuis, and Jose Ruiz and Lars Sims both started out well at 220 and 285 before making a mistake and quickly getting pinned by Ike Fisher and Jeron Lippert, respectively.

“At this point in the season I’m kind of disappointed we let that happen,” Lynch said of letting matches slip away. “We’ve talked the last couple of weeks about how you wrestle kids who might be better then you. I thought we did a better job of that at Northglenn then at Wray.”

The Indians scored 85 points to finish in a tie for eighth place with Jefferson in the 22-school field at the Northglenn Norse Invitational. Eagle Valley won the team title with 179.5, while Thompson Valley had 168.5, Grand Junction 166.6, Arapahoe 130.5, Lyons 106.5, Legend 103, and Longmont 86.

“I was hoping the kids would last three periods and win because they are in good shape, or if they lose, be it by a decision instead of getting pinned.”

Sure enough, at least half of the Yuma matches went into the third period, and “10 of our kids (out of 12) got in at least five matches, which is great,” Lynch said.

He said Alex Covarrubias wrestled as well as he has all season while going 4-1 at 160.

C. Lynch went 3-2 while placing fifth at 195, including a gutsy 1-0 decision over Alonzo Warner of Erie in the fifth-place match.

Alec Holtorf makes a move while on his way to winning his match at the Yuma-Wray dual, January 24 in Wray. (Pioneer Photo)

Sims also went 3-2 for fifth at 285. Two wins came by pin and one of his losses was a 2-0 decision, which cost him a shot at wrestling for third.

Brophy went 3-2 and placed fifth at 132. All three wins came by decision.

J. Smith placed sixth at 106 while placing sixth with a 2-2 record. All four of his matches were by decision, his two losses coming by a combined five points.

Ruiz won two matches while placing sixth at 220. His two wins were first-period pins.

McDonald went 2-1 at 182. Jaden Hansen went 2-2 at 170. Holtorf had one win at 120. B. Smith won two matches at 126. Yahir Trejo went 3-2 at 145. Joey Ross wrestled at 138.

The Indians were back on the mat this past Tuesday, earning a 42-28 dual win at Wiggins. Trejo picked up a 10-8 decision at 145 pounds. Xavier Smith won a 4-2 decision at 152. Covarrubias continued his strong performance with a 12-2 major decision at 160. Lynch picked up a win by pin in the first period at 195, and Sims pulled out a 4-3 decision at 285. Holtorf finished the dual with a pin early in the second period at 120. Getting forfeit wins were B. Smith at 126, Ross at 138, and Hansen at 170.