Already plenty accomplished this winter after winning the Dec. 1-2 Moab Invitational and then going 8-1 at St. George Desert Hills' Dec. 8-9 Thunder Duals, Moab-based Grand County's Kayden Robertson still had to know how fortunate he was on Saturday in Farmington.
Somehow able to catch Bayfield senior Garrett Beebe in what head coach Roy Westbrook called "a wicked headlock," the Red Devil senior dealt the Wolverine 138-pounder his first loss of the 2017-18 season at last weekend's dual-style Piedra Vista Panther Classic.
"Beebe had started off 13-2 against him," Westbrook marveled, before going on to proudly state that the BHS roster responded to the third-period pin, essentially a wake-up call, and routed GCHS 47-18 in their second Pool 'D' test inside Jerry A. Conner Fieldhouse.
With momentum on their side after recovering from a 63-9 loss to 5A Bloomfield beginning the meet (Beebe, however won an 8-6 decision over Bobcat Tylon Waite), the Wolverines went on to squeak past 5A Gallup Miyamura 43-36 in the second-tier 'Silver Bracket' semifinals. BHS then lost 42-30 to 6A PVHS' appropriately-dubbed 'Silver' (JV) squad and finishing in sixth place out of 15 teams.
The Panther varsity beat in-town rival 5A Farmington 53-18 to win the Gold Bracket and take first overall.
"Overall, as far as wrestling goes, it was a good showing heading into break," said Westbrook. "I couldn't be prouder as a coach; we had a couple kids out with illness this week, and it kind of showed in our conditioning a little bit. But we're going to be strong heading into Pagosa." PSHS will host the Rocky Mountain Invitational on Jan. 6.
Beebe finished 3-1 overall, finishing with a pin in just 58 seconds of Piedra Vista's Kobie Greenhaus. Junior 220-pounder Daniel Westbrook also finished 3-1, with one victory coming up a weight over Grand County heavy Gage Hansen in 5:00 elapsed, and his loss courtesy of Bloomfield's Michael DeHerrera by second-period pin.
Including a pin in only 38 seconds of Miyamura's Darren Bowman, sophomore Colby Joosten went 3-1 at 145. Sophomore Shane Moore was 3-1 at 170, while senior Cordell Ashcraft finished 2-2 at 160-stepping in for senior Jake Sandrey.
"Cordell really came in at only about 148," Roy Westbrook noted, "so it will be interesting to see where he fits in with Jake after the break."
Freshman 120-pounder Dylan Pickering also went 2-2, tech-falling GCHS' Jimmie Johnson 15-0 and beating Miyamura's Yele Aycock by 10-0 major decision. Senior Lane Grimwood went 3-1 at 152, including a 10-8 overtime win over PVHS' Aaron Thompson. This was Bayfield's second clutch OT win over a Panther; Moore edged Shane McCoy 11-9.
Sophomore John Foutz won his one bout at 195, by forfeit over Piedra Vista's Tyrone Abeita after standing unopposed by BHS' three other foes, and junior 126-pounder Colby Baker won one of his four, a forfeit over Grand County.