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Englewood High School became the focus of attention for athletes and fans from 12 schools as the Pirates host the Class 3A Region 3 wrestling tournament Feb. 9 and 10.
More than 100 wrestlers are expected to compete in the event as those who place in the top four in each of the 14 weight divisions advance to the state tournament that will be held Feb. 15-17 at the Pepsi Center.
Regional competition begins at 4 p.m. Feb. 9 and runs to about 7.p.m and then resumes at 9 a.m. Feb. 10, with the finals scheduled to start about 3 p.m. Three mats will be used each day. Concessions will be available throughout the tournament.
“Hosting the regional tournament is a big deal because we feel the tournament is an opportunity to showcase our school and our community because we expect hundreds of coaches, fans and athletes from other communities will attend the tournament,” Nate Smith, EHS athletic director, said. “It takes a lot of work to prepare and run a regional wrestling tournament. We are recruiting 25 to 30 volunteer workers who do things like time the matches, make sure the right wrestlers are on each mat for a match, staff the hospitality room and a variety of other tasks.”
He said volunteers signed up include wrestler's parents, EHS staff, representatives of Pirate Youth Sports and Englewood High School alumni.
Pirates wrestling coach Lorenzo Moreno agreed.
“Hosting this tournament is big for us and we were pleased when our offer to host it was approved by the Colorado High School Activities Association,” he said. “We began preparations to organize and operate the tournament and we are very fortunate that a lot of people volunteered to be part of the event.”
Former Pirates wrestling coach and teacher Ken Huff has agreed to be tournament director and John Manning, Englewood's last state wrestling champion, will be at the tournament.
Volunteers have signed up do the wide variety of tasks needed to run the tournament. Moreno said that includes the volunteers who know how to operate the computer at each mat. The computer at each mat provides information that makes sure the proper wrestlers are competing in each match and to record each match results that will be posted live on www.trackwrestling.com.
The first-year coach said the program is growing, but all this year's wrestlers are new to the sport, so there will only be Pirates wrestling in the 126-, 182- and 195-pound weight divisions.
The three Pirates who wrestled in the Colorado 7 League Varsity Tournament held at Skyview High School on Feb. 2 and 3 will be the three entries in regionals for Englewood. At the league meet, Dwight Anderson finished second at 195 pounds, while Jaheam Graham (126) and Ricardo Chinas (182) both finished sixth in their weight divisions.
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