Josh Richardson only took up wrestling because of a bet with a friend, but nobody would have wagered he would be wrestling for a state championship Feb. 18. But there was the Cherokee Trail senior on the floor at Pepsi Center about to take the mat for the 160-pound Class 5A state championship with his singlet on backwards.


As a senior with wrestling not in his future, Tyler Ross left everything he had on the wrestling mat Feb. 18 at the Pepsi Center in Denver. Wrestling with a “torn up” knee that had to be encased in a huge pad, Ross made it through three grueling days of competition at the Class 5A state tournament to claim third place at 182 pounds.

on Saturday Feb. 18, 2017 at Pepsi Center.
Photo by Gabriel Christus/Aurora Sentinel

DENVER | Although he had to be assured several times, Grandview’s Gabriel Baumgartner did in fact win a state wrestling championship Saturday night. The Wolves’ senior wasn’t 100 percent sure he’d defeated Brighton’s Tanner Aitken in the 285 pound title match at Pepsi Center, but having his arm raised by the referee confirmed it: he was a state champion.

Cherokee Trail High School's Zeke Silva wrestles Arvada West's John Boyer on Thursday Feb. 16, 2017 at Pepsi Center.
Photo by Gabriel Christus/Aurora Sentinel

DENVER | The first round of the Class 5A state wrestling tournament went so well for Cherokee Trail, the Cougars had an internal contest for fastest pin. All five of Cherokee Trail’s qualifiers had their arms raised in victory Thursday night at the Pepsi Center, with sophomore David Rivera and seniors Zeke Silva and Max Gonzales — all multiple-time state qualifiers — all winning by fall for coach Jeff Buck’s team.