Panther wrestlers compete at Warrior

Oliver places fifth as M-CHS squares off against some of state’s best

Panthers junior Levi Gross works to pin his opponent during a match earlier this season. Enlargephoto

Courtesy Photo/Shad Bellmire

Panthers junior Levi Gross works to pin his opponent during a match earlier this season.

After another tough weekend, Montezuma-Cortez High School wrestlers are hoping that the experience of facing top-notch competition will pay off.

Competing against some of Colorado’s top wrestlers at the Warrior Classic on Dec. 20-21, the Panthers enjoyed mixed results.

Wrestling extremely well for the Panthers was junior Seager Oliver, who, by virtue of his 3-2 record at the tournament, earned a fifth-place spot on the podium.

“He did good,” said Panthers’ head coach Shad Bellmire of his standout junior’s performance. “You get to that level and there are some tough kids. It didn’t go our way, but he bounced back and got a medal.”

Also wrestling impressively for the Panthers was junior Levi Gross, who looked much improved on his way to a 2-2 overall record.

“The 132-pound division was a tough bracket, and (Levi) fought tough,” said Bellmire.

Other wrestlers competing for the Panthers were sophomore Celistino Fernandez (2-2), Justice Ramos (2-2) and Josh Ramos (1-2).

“We have things as a team that we know we need to work on,” Bellmire said. “Everybody has things that they can fine-tune.”

Fine-tuning will have to briefly wait for the Panthers however, as the team will take a much needed rest before returning to action at the Montrose Tournament on Jan. 11.

“We’re always striving for a little more,” said Bellmire, describing his team’s goals for the season’s second half.