It is time for the Yuma High School wrestling team to rumble.

The Indians open the 2018-19 season Saturday at the Chuck Annand Akron Invitational.

Coach Rory Lynch have a total of 25 students out for wrestling, including four girls as Colorado conducts a two-year pilot program for girls wrestling. (See accompanying article.) That leaves 21 boys on the wrestling team, which is encouraging as the participation continues to rise after some down years in participation.

“Our numbers are good,” Lynch said earlier this week. “Wray’s numbers are still good, but everybody else in our league I think is struggling to fill weights.”

Yuma has three state qualifiers returning this season, junior Cayden Lynch (no relation to the coach), and sophomores Blaze Brophy and Joey Ross. Lynch is battling for a varsity spot at 195, but there is more of a logjam in the middle weights. Coach Lynch said a lot of the grapplers fall between 126 and 152, so there likely will be wrestle-offs each week for the varsity spot.

“We’re going to have a kid who’s a good wrestler lose a wrestle-off to another good wrestler,” he said. “The lineup could change week to week.”

He added that the competition will be good for the team as it will keep the wrestlers in a competitive mode. He noted that in years when numbers were lower and wrestlers did not have to compete for a varsity spot, it seemed oftentimes there would be some let-up.

“They’ll wrestle wherever they land,” Lynch said. “I think we’ll fill all the weights (if everyone is healthy and good to go).”

The logjam is most acute at 132, where state qualifiers Brophy and Joss are competing for the varsity spot, along with fellow sophomores Braden Smith and Will Marshall. Lynch said there could be some movement by some of them, up or down, as the season shakes out.

Members of the Yuma High School wrestling team are pictured above: Front row (l-r) — Jesus Sanchez, John Smith, Alec Holtorf, Fatima Duran, Braden Smith, Josh Daugherty, Ximena Garcia, and Yahir Trejo; middle row (l-r) — Jose Ruiz, Tiana McCasland, Cayden Lynch, Blaze Brophy, Xavier Smith, Tyler Allen, Will Marshall, and Joey Ross; back row (l-r) — Josue Roacho, Brandon Mendoza, Lars Sims, Mia Dischner, Jaden Hansen, Louden Blach, Tarren McDonald and Christian Quezada. Not pictured is Alex Covarrubias. (Pioneer Photo)

John Smith is the lone wrestler at 106. The head coach said Josh Daugherty is trying to get down to 113, but might end up at 120.

Alec Holtorf and Jesus Sanchez are battling at 126.

Louden Blach currently is alone at 138.

Lynch said Yahir Trejo likely is headed for 145, along with Tyler Allen.

Xavier Smith and Alex Covarrubias are battling a 152, though one of them could end up at 160, where there are no wrestlers at the moment.

Jaden Hansen is at 170, and Tarren McDonald at 182.

Cayden Lynch is being challenged at 195 by Jose Ruiz.

Christian Quezada is at 220.

There are three wrestlers competing for the 275 slot, Josue Roacha, Brandon Mendoza and Lars Sims.

“We’ve had a lot of kids wrestle through junior high, which is helpful,” Lynch said, “but some have just come out in high school, which can be tough.”

There are some changes to the schedule this season, such as going to a triangular at Lamar, including County Line, after Holyoke decided to no longer host a triangular with Yuma and Merino. Brush also has added a varsity invitational in which the Indians will compete.

Opportunities to see the Indians in action in The Pit will come early in the season. They will host Burlington and Sedgwick County for a triangular on December 13, a dual with Sterling on December 18, and a dual with Akron on January 10. The annual dual showdown with Wray, the defending 2A champion, will take place January 24 in the Eagles Nest.


Girls wrestling in first year of pilot program

Four Yuma High School students will be testing the waters this year in Colorado’s pilot program for girls high school wrestling.

Colorado is conducting a two-year pilot program, which means girls wrestling will be a non-sanctioned sport. However, there still will be a regional and state tournaments for girls in February. There is just one classification for girls wrestling.

YHS has four girls wrestling with the boys team, sophomore Tiana McCasland, and freshmen Fatima Duran, Jimena Garcia and Mia Dischner.

YHS has five girls tournaments on the schedule this season, beginning Saturday at Arapahoe High School.

Girl wrestlers can compete in both boys and girls competitions in December, but must declare by January 1 which team they want to compete for.

“The girls have stuck around and really want to do it,” YHS coach Rory Lynch said. “They get right in the middle of everything we do in practice.”

Weight classes for girls wrestling are 100 pounds, 105, 111, 118, 127, 136, 147, 161, 185 and 215.