Cortez grapplers enjoy solid first day at state

Oliver, Ramos dominant in first round victories

Sam Green/Cortez Journal

Seager Oliver wins by techncal fall, 15-0, over  Josh Smith in the first round of the state wrestling tournament in Denver. Enlargephoto

Sam Green/Cortez Journal Seager Oliver wins by techncal fall, 15-0, over Josh Smith in the first round of the state wrestling tournament in Denver.

With lights shining bright and excited fans looking on, three Montezuma-Cortez High School wrestlers hit the mats for the first round of the Colorado 4A State Wrestling Tournament.

Oliver dominates in opening round victory

Unfazed by the pressure of wrestling the Pepsi Center in Denver, Montezuma-Cortez High School’s Seager Oliver dominated Woodland Park High School’s Josh Smith ( in route to a technical fall victory.

After controlling Smith early, Oliver nearly pinned his stocky opponent near the end of a first period that ended with the M-CHS standout leading 5-0.

Continuing to apply pressure in the second period, Oliver continued to rack up points, pulling ahead 15-0 with two seconds left in the second period to secure the victory.

“Going out there and getting a technical (fall) felt great,” said Oliver after his match. “(Smith) was real strong, but I was just a lot faster and I had more technique.”

Next up for Oliver will be a quarterfinal matchup against Mountain View High School’s Jonathan Hernandez (26-15).

“I just have to keep being mean and not give them anything,” said Oliver of his goals moving forward.

Ramos impressive in first round victory

M-CHS junior Justice Ramos was nothing short of spectacular in his first round matchup, pinning Broomfield High School’s Randall Baker to move on to the 145-pound quarterfinals.

After nearly being taken down early in the match, Ramos came back strong, pulling ahead 8-0 after the first period before pinning Baker with 46 seconds left in the second period.

“I’m excited and ready,” said Ramos.

“(Justice) is hungry, he came out fierce and he did not let up one bit,” added M-CHS head coach Shad Bellmire. “Don’t underestimate him.”

Next up for Ramos will be a Feb. 22 quarterfinal matchup against Pueblo West High School’s Travis Myers (27-10).

Gross pinned in opener

Facing an extremely difficult opponent in Conifer High School’s Bronson Spies, Montezuma-Cortez High School’s Levi Gross suffered an opening round loss.

After being taken down early, Gross was quickly flipped to his back and pinned with 49 seconds left in the first period.

“It was just a tough kid,” said Bellmire. “He’s got to put that (loss) on the back burner and keep going.”

Next up for Gross will be a consolation bracket matchup against Weld Central’s Lyle Cooksey (27-10).

Look for continuing coverage of the Colorado state high school wrestling tournament online at www.facebook.com/CortezJournal

Sam Green/Cortez Journal

Levi Gross finds himself in trouble on the way to a first round loss at the state wrestling tournament. Enlargephoto

Sam Green/Cortez Journal Levi Gross finds himself in trouble on the way to a first round loss at the state wrestling tournament.

Sam Green/Cortez Journal

Justus Ramos throws down Randall Baker on the way to a pin for the Montezuma-Cortez High School junior in the first round of the state wrestling tournament in Denver. Enlargephoto

Sam Green/Cortez Journal Justus Ramos throws down Randall Baker on the way to a pin for the Montezuma-Cortez High School junior in the first round of the state wrestling tournament in Denver.