Reds win Region 2 wrestling tournament

Six wrestlers to represent Eaton at State Championships in Pueblo

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Emily Hogsett, News Editor

After winning the Patriot League over Valley, the Reds battled teams from all over the 3A second region. The Reds reigned victorious at regionals as a team and will be sending six Reds wrestlers to represent Eaton in the 3A State Championships.

At regionals, Tanner True (21), Cael Jordan (21), Alex Castaneda (22), and Ryan Dirksen (22) earned first place, giving them a one-way ticket to the 2021 State Championship. Patrick Preston (24) and Morgan Tribbett (23) earned second place, sending them to State Championships as well. Preston Smith (24) and Zach Lampe (21) got third place, and Kris Sabatino (22) got fourth place at regionals.  

Preston said State setup will be, “An eight-man bracket, so I should only have three to four matches.  I will just have to make sure I am ready to wrestle each match because it could be my last. I went from being JV and just battling with my teammates in practice to being varsity and making State. It’s pretty cool.”

Dirksen will be returning to State as a former champion, and True will be returning as a former runner-up.  

Dirksen is ranked second in the 152-pound division, True is ranked first in the 285-pound division, Jordan is ranked second in the 182-pound division, and Castaneda is ranked third in the 126-pound division.  

“My advice for younger wrestlers would be to trust the process and keep working because it will pay off,” True said. “Team and individual State Champ is always the goal.”

The championships will be taking place in the Colorado State Fairgrounds in Pueblo over March 12 and 13.  There will be an eight-man bracket for every weight division with full consolation.  The Reds will depart from Eaton High School on March 11 after school and spend two nights in Pueblo for the tournament. They will return Saturday morning.  

The event is not open to the public, but tickets are given to schools of athletes that have qualified for the tournament.  

As of March 8, wrestlers will need to have a negative COVID-19 test to wrestle in the tournament.  If the wrestlers do not get a test before arriving at the tournament, they will get a test at the tournament before they can wrestle. Any wrestlers with positive results cannot wrestle in the tournament and lose their chance at a state victory.  

Eaton wrestlers are gearing up for the biggest tournament of the 2021 wrestling season.  As State swiftly approaches, the stakes are high for the returning champions.  Only time can tell if Eaton’s representatives will bring home another win for the Fightin’ Reds to make them back-to-back State Champions.