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GJHS Dominates Warrior Classic

Aspen Leman, Reporter

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What do you get when you add 1 four-time champion,  5 individual champions,  a third place finish and a fifth place finish?  You get a record breaking win at the Warrior Classic by one of the best wrestling teams in the state of Colorado.

In 2001,  the Moffat County Bulldogs set the team points record at 246.5. Last year, Junction came close to breaking it with 246 points. This year the  team wrestled through  two days focused on breaking that record.

This year in the last match of tournament,  Hunter Tobiasson pinned Weston Holdren, a new record was set. 250 points total by the end of the final matches. In support of the win, the wrestlers, fans and students stood in a crowd on the bleachers and chanted “GJ all day!” after the last match.

Bonus points put GJHS over the top for the team record. 

“Bonus points are added points to a team gets for displaying a level of dominance” Cole Allison, coach, said.  A positive reflection of our team’s success is shown with these points added.

In the finals, five wrestlers  took first-place, Dawson Collins (113 lbs), Dylan Martinez (145 lbs), Seth Latham (182 lbs), and Hunter Tobiasson (220 lbs). Kieran “Spesh” Thompson (106 lbs) placed third and Jay “JT” Skalecki, (170) placed fifth.

Among the varsity wrestlers taking a title, Josiah Rider (152 lbs) placed first for the fourth time in his high school career. This has only been done by one other wrestler in history of the Warrior Classic.   

“[My time] has improved every year” Josiah Rider, senior, said.

As well as his time, his overall experience and technique has improved from his first win to now. “This is the first year I’ve pinned my way through. Last year I pinned all of them except one tech fall. Sophomore year, I pinned all of them up to my finals match. Freshman year, I pinned up to semi-finals,” Rider said.

From a freshman’s perspective, placing third at the Warrior is an outstanding achievement. However, Thompson’s future goals don’t just revolve around this tournament. He’s looking forward to improving each week and getting ready for the regional competition and state. 

In the center of all this success is Coach Cole Allison.  Allison is in his ninth year as head coach.  He was a two-time state champion in high school and wrestled in college.  Coaching plays a huge role in a wrestler’s success. Also on the coaching staff are Joe Meinhart, Sean Henry and Paul Martinez.

“I believe coaching runs much deeper than a win/loss record. The bigger goal is to reach every athlete on an individual level,” Allison said. A personal relationship with each wrestler is key in Coach Allison’s eyes. A wrestler reflects the coaching they are given and their self driven motivation.

“Determination allows you to brush off setbacks and continue with the same enthusiasm you had when you first started,” Allison said.

As one of only two wrestlers in the history of the Warrior Classic to be a four-time champion,  Rider can look back on his past and recognize what helped him succeed.

“If you really want to be successful in wrestling, make sure it’s the only sport you do,” Rider said. Focusing mainly on wrestling throughout high school, his achievements prove this to be true.


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GJHS Dominates Warrior Classic