Trappers go 1-1 in Apodaca Duals

Posted 2/4/21

As they are every year, the 2021 Apodaca Duals were memorable. 

Not only did Saturday’s duals mark the Northwest College wrestling team’s first official competition in almost a …

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Trappers go 1-1 in Apodaca Duals

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As they are every year, the 2021 Apodaca Duals were memorable. 

Not only did Saturday’s duals mark the Northwest College wrestling team’s first official competition in almost a year, they paid tribute to a legend in the program, Brooks Apodaca, who tragically died in a 1998 car accident. 

Head coach Jim Zeigler handed out the annual Apodaca Award to Brayden Lowry, an NWC sophomore from Cedar City, Utah, who embodies Apodaca’s competitive spirit. 

“His attitude is excellent,” Zeigler said of Lowry. “He’s just a leader; he’s a captain. And he always has the right energy levels.”

As far as the actual competition, the Trappers went 1-1 in the duals, defeating Northeastern Junior College 40-11, and falling 46-3 to Western Wyoming Community College. 

Following weeks of canceled practices in the fall, and with Saturday being the season opener, Zeigler was pleased with his team’s performance. 

“I think they performed fairly well under the circumstances,” the coach said. “We want to do a lot better than we did going forward, but it was so good to have competition.”

Zeigler compared the duals to the preseason of the National Football League, where teams have the opportunity to see where they’re at and work on weaknesses. That’s what the coach hopes to take from the 1-1 opening weekend. 

“It’s good because we got to see what we’re made of,” Zeigler said. “After the fall, it was a victory just to compete.”

Individually, Ryker Blackburn was the standout for the Trappers in the 197-pound class as the only NWC wrestler to win both matches. He started the day with a pin of NJC’s Gabriel Garcia in 2:22 and earned the Trappers’ only match victory against WWCC, winning a 9-2 decision over Tyler Scheurn. 

Blackburn joined the program at the start of the semester after plans to go on a mission with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints fell through. Since arriving in Powell, the wrestler has “been a great addition” and showed up “in better wrestling shape” than Zeigler expected. 

Before taking the mat again, the Trappers have two weeks of practice. NWC will compete in a dual in Coeur d’ Alene, Idaho, on Saturday, Feb. 13 — squaring off against North Idaho College, Southwest Oregon Community College and Clackamas Community College.

While Zeigler and his wrestlers have seen plenty of break time due to the pandemic, the coach thinks two weeks before their next competition could benefit them. 

“It will be good to have this break to re-assess where we’re at,” Zeigler said. “We want to get into competition, but it will give up time to get our lineup situated.”

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