Northwest Trapper wrestlers ‘improve focus’ in dual wins

Posted 3/4/21

After a couple of disappointing duals to begin the 2021 season, Northwest College wrestling made strides at its most recent competition.

The Trappers won duals over Otero Junior College (20-18) …

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Northwest Trapper wrestlers ‘improve focus’ in dual wins

Posted

After a couple of disappointing duals to begin the 2021 season, Northwest College wrestling made strides at its most recent competition.

The Trappers won duals over Otero Junior College (20-18) and Northeastern Junior College (28-25), the latter of which hosted Saturday’s event. Both matches were close, with NWC winning the duals by a combined five points, but “focused” performances allowed the Trappers to earn two wins. 

The victories came just two weeks after a dismal performance in Great Falls, where the Trappers won just one individual match in two duals. 

“They wrestled a lot better this time,” NWC head coach Jim Zeigler said of his squad. “It seemed like it mattered to them.”

Specifically, Zeigler noted how much better his squad looked “off the bottom,” as well as defensively. But more than technical improvements, the coach saw growth in his student-athletes’ mindsets. 

“They seemed more intense and more focused,” Zeigler said. “We were better prepared, and they wrestled sharper.”

Standing in for the injured Brayden Lowry, Gus Harrison went 2-0 in the 157-pound class in what Zeigler described as a “really good” weekend. Other Trappers who went undefeated Saturday were Ryker Blackburn, Christian Dean and Tajhae Jenkins-Harris.

Even in some of the losses, NWC wrestled well. Zeigler listed Sterling Quinn and Devyn Mosteller as Trappers who competed exceptionally in defeat.

With a few duals remaining on the schedule, this successful trip could serve as a teaching moment for Zeigler’s young team.

“It helped them figure out the difference between college wrestling and high school wrestling,” Zeigler said. “We have a tough road, and I’m hoping that they’ll just keep competing hard.”

Next on the schedule for NWC is a set of duals in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, on March 13, where the Trappers will face North Idaho College and Clackamas Community College — a pair of elite NJCAA programs. Before then, Zeigler will be in the gym with his wrestlers, hoping to build on the recent progress they have shown. 

“Just continue what we’re doing,” Zeigler said. “Conditioning is something that can draw us closer to North Idaho. They’re a team that outmatches us in talent and numbers, but we can certainly win some matches.”

    

Northwest 20, Otero 18

125: Mac Martinez (Otero) over Sterling Quinn (NWC) (Dec 6-2) 

133: Marquis Kemp (Otero) over Devyn Mosteller (NWC) (Fall) 

141: Joseph Wicker (Otero) (Forfeit) 

149: Christian Dean (NWC) over Juan Telles (Otero) (Fall) 

157: August Harrison (NWC) over Logan Robb (Otero) (MD 14-6) 

165: Tahjae Jenkins-Harris (NWC) over Dimitris Flores (Otero) (MD 17-5) 

197: Ryker Blackburn (NWC) (Forfeit) 

285: Roger Valdilles (Otero) over Terrell Barton (NWC) (Dec 8-7) 

     

Northwest 28, Northeastern 25

125: Colter Julian (NJC) over Sterling Quinn (NWC) (MD 10-1) 

133: Stephen Standridge (NJC) over Devyn Mosteller (NWC) (Dec 7-3) 

141: Walker Heckendorf (NJC) (Forfeit) 

149: Christian Dean (NWC) over Daryn Castilleja (NJC) (Fall) 

157: August Harrison (NWC) over Tab Smith (NJC) (Fall) 

165: Tahjae Jenkins-Harris (NWC) over Connor Davis (NJC) (MD 14-1) 

174: Kyle Thurin (NJC) (Forfeit)

184: Karson Bean (NJC) (Forfeit) 

197: Ryker Blackburn (NWC) over Gabriel Garcia (NJC) (Fall) 

285: Terrell Barton (NWC) (Forfeit) 

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