It took less than one minute to erase over 33 years worth of waiting early Friday morning as McClave High School senior Sterling Noecker stood, his hand raised, in front of a large crowd gathered at Denver's Pepsi Center to witness the Colorado High School State Wrestling Championships.
It took less than one minute to erase over 33 years worth of waiting early Friday morning as McClave High School senior Sterling Noecker stood, his hand raised, in front of a large crowd gathered at Denver’s Pepsi Center to witness the Colorado High School State Wrestling Championships.
Void of a wrestling program for several years, McClave High School reinstated the sport this year, welcoming six wrestlers, three from McClave and three from Wiley. One of them was Noecker, the lone senior, who claimed the school’s first state wrestling victory in over 33 years.
“This is an amazing and exciting time for McClave,” said McClave Schools Principal Rachel Dunning. “We are extremely proud of Sterling and of all our wrestlers.”
Noecker, despite failing to earn a place on the Class 2A 182 pound podium, finished in the top ten in his weightclass and represented the lone state tournament victor from Bent County.
Having lost to eventual state champion M.C. Griffin of Stratton in the opening round Thursday afternoon, Noecker pinned Calhan’s Aaron VanZorean in the consolation first round Friday morning in just 47 seconds, before falling to Sierra Grande’s Jose Cisneros in the consolation quarter final round to end his tournament.
Teammate Teo Dorado (145 pounds), representing Wiley, lost by fall in the opening round to eventual fifth place finisher Madison Grinna of Burlington and in the first round consolations to Norwood’s Trenton Armintrout by fall. Sam Cox, 220 pounds, lost in the opening round to eventual runner-up Jon Satterly of Burlington by fall and to Yuma’s Luke Korf by fall in the consolation round.
Las Animas’ lone qualifier, Marcos Fernandez (106 pounds), lost to eventual sixth place finisher Justin Hinkle of Fowler 9-3 in the opening round and by fall to Dolores’ Tristan Medina in the following round to end his season.
“There is a lot to be said about the accomplishments of our wrestlers this season,” said Dunning of McClave program’s first year success. “Cade did a great job coaching and preparing the kids for everything they were up against this season. They went in to each tournament knowing exactly what it takes. Both the McClave and Wiley communities have been extremely supportive. We are all very proud. We have a great connection and hope that our schools can continue to build a strong program together.”
In addition to the high school program, McClave has reinstated a junior high wrestling program which has drawn interest from 15 students.