Besides Grand, a total of five other teams have been invited to participate in the two-day tournament, which is scheduled to start on Friday, Dec. 6 at 4 p.m. and continue on Saturday, Dec. 7, beginning at 9 a.m. in the GCHS gymnasium. According to Wells, the following schools are expected to attend: San Juan, Monticello, Gunnison, Summit Academy, and Nucla, Colo.
Wells said the GCHS lineup includes several returning wrestlers from last year. Only three weight classes are open, or lacking a competitor – the 152-pound, 171-pound, and 220-pound divisions. The Red Devils also have athletes who are injured in two additional weight classes. Those team members, Gage Moore, who wrestles at 106 pounds and Stephen Messick at 182 pounds, will not be able to compete at the start of the season, according to Wells.
Wells said the most competitive weight class for Grand this year is the 145-pound category. Three wrestlers – Seth Holyoak, Qordale Tsosie, and Richie Cordero – are all vying for the 145-pound slot, Wells said.
GCHS senior Jacob Francis is expected to be a top contender in the 138-pound weight class, provided he is able to avoid the shoulder injury problems that sidelined him last year. Also competing at 138 pounds for Grand is Anthony Denton.
In the lower weights, the Red Devil roster features John Corbin, wrestling at 106 pounds, Gage Longley at 112 pounds, Gage Lindquist and Justin Moore at 119 pounds, Andrew Hugentobler at 126 pounds, and Robert Allred at 132 pounds.
In the upper weights, senior Edgar Gomez is returning as a top heavyweight contender. Gomez placed third in state in that category last year. Grand also has two wrestlers in the 195-pound category: Matt Bridenbaker and Tyler Shepherd. Ronnie Dolphin, wrestling at 160 pounds, rounds out the current roster for the Red Devils.
“I’m excited for us to host an invitational tournament again,” Wells said. “Hopefully, we can get off to a good start.”
Following this weekend’s tournament, Grand will host a dual meet against Monticello next Wednesday, Dec. 11 at 7 p.m.