Proving that sometimes there is indeed no rest for the weary, Daniel Westbrook, not even a full week removed from contributing to Bayfield's CHSAA Class 2A State Championship gridiron effort, had to face both rising stars last weekend in his first wrestling action of the 2017-18 season.
And, representing the only Colorado school in the mix at Camp Verde's 24th annual Verde Duals, the Wolverine junior (who competed at 195 pounds in '16-17) still held his own against both before losing two matches and ultimately placing second at the two-day event
Despite bringing essentially half a team to the tournament, BHS ultimately placed a strong sixth in the 16-team standings-something more than pleasing to first-year head coach Roy Westbrook.
"For them to do that was phenomenal in my book," he said. "They've only been on the mats for three days; I couldn't ask for a better performance."
Westbrook's effort would have been Bayfield's best, had it not been for senior Garrett Beebe. After going 5-0 on Day 1 with four pins at 138 pounds, Beebe finished atop the podium on Day 2 after 4A Cottonwood Mingus Union's Michael Thurman injury-defaulted.
"He had a tough semifinals match," Roy Westbrook recalled, "but got a reversal to the kid's back and got the win. Garrett just wrestled phenomenal all weekend. Seems his head is on the right way; he's on point."
Senior Lane Grimwood lost to the tourney's eventual champ at 152, but with a successful shot inside the last 10 seconds of his last match placed third, as did senior Jake Sandrey, presently wrestling at 160 pounds but expected to drop some football weight to work in the 138- to 145-pound area.
Also placing third was sophomore Paden Williamson, taking over for Westbrook at 195.
"We would have been right in the mix with the bigger teams," said Roy Westbrook, "for the most part. But when we're giving up seven forfeits each dual... we'd pretty much have to pin everyone to get a win."
But in contested matches, Bayfield was solid. On Day 1 at the Duals, the squad posted a 25-10 record in actual action (excluding forfeit victories).
"We're looking forward to tomorrow," the skipper had proudly stated, knowing there was a chance at taking home at least one individual title.
Sophomore Shane Moore, another of BHS' football players-now-grapplers, placed eighth at 170 but also logged a Day 1 win at 182 pounds. Sophomore Colby Joosten also earned eighth-place status at 145.
"We ended up placing all our varsity wrestlers that we brought," said Roy Westbrook, noting that 138-pounder Trey McKee and 152/160-pounder Rocky Morris also saw some action. "And for all of them, it was good to finally get some matches."
Up next, the Wolverines will travel to Dove Creek this Saturday, Dec. 9, for the DCHS 'Dawg Fight.'
2017 VERDE DUALS FINAL TEAM (all from Arizona but Bayfield) PLACINGS: 1.Oro Valley Ironwood Ridge, 2.Camp Verde, 3.Queen Creek Casteel, 4.Flagstaff Coconino, 5.Cottonwood Mingus Union, 6.BAYFIELD, 7.Phoenix Pinnacle, 8.Buckeye Verrado, 9.Benson, 10.Wellton Antelope Union, 11.Tuba City, 12.Maricopa, 13.Phoenix North Canyon, 14.Window Rock, 15.Mohave Valley River Valley, 16.Chandler Prep.