State champions in progress

February 28, 2019


Annabeth Sarbacker

The varsity wrestling team trademark “swing”.

February 21-23 the Fossil Ridge High School varsity wrestling team qualifiers spent the weekend competing at the CHSAA State Tournament in the 5A division at the Denver Pepsi Center. Months of hard work were concluded in three days by a tournament that decided the new champions. Out of the four athletes from Fossil who qualified to compete, sophomore, Cody Ginther placed fourth in the entire state.

The state qualifiers warm up before their first matches on Thursday February 21.

Although the Fossil wrestlers were confident, they were understandably accompanied by nerves. The venue holds over 18,000 seats and the floor was covered with 10 mats. While it was not at capacity, the pressure from the enormity of the event was apparent.

The wrestlers were eagerly supported by their families and some of their teammates who did not qualify to compete.They are hopeful in growing their number of qualifiers for next season and are more than willing to put in the work. To those who were able to qualify this year, it was not by luck. Success is a habit formed by hard work and complete dedication is the bottom line when it comes to wrestling for a championship.

Marshall Scott


Annabeth Sarbacker

Scott shakes the hand of his opponent before starting his match on Friday February 22.

Weighing in at 113 pounds Fossil Ridge High School senior, Marshall Scott, competed at the 2019 State Tournament where he lost both his matches.

His first match, bout 9 was lost with a fall at 1:11 in the first period and the score read 12-2.The second match which took place on Friday February 22, bout 173 was ended with a score of 15-0, eliminating Scott from the brackets.


For Scott, wrestling is about the experience whether that be in the form of victories or losses. He has continued to wrestle throughout high school purely because he enjoys it as a sport. When asked about his motivation, he said that he wrestles “‘cause I really like it…”  

Scott has been wrestling for the last six years and summarizes his time with the team as “a lot of fun.” He also claimed that “how competitive it is and the intensity” to be his favorite parts about wrestling.  

As his favorite memory from state was “hanging out with the boys”, he is team oriented. With the well being of the team in mind, his words for incoming wrestlers is to “work hard and don’t give up.”

Michael Bolduc


Annabeth Sarbacker

Bolduc battles to keep his opponent from standing.

Fossil Ridge High School freshman, Michael Bolduc wrestled at the State Tournament in the 126 pound weight class. He lost two matches, ending his first chance at a State Title.


On Thursday February 21, Bolduc stepped up to compete in bout 32 where his match was ended with a fall and a score of 2-0.




Leading up to bout 184 of the tournament on Friday February 22, Bolduc admitted that he was “nervous” as he warmed up. Focusing on his match, he then said that he was “ready”. The match had a promising beginning when he scored the first takedown (2 points). During the second period his opponent was able to garner an escape (1 point) and two takedowns while Bolduc fought for a single escape.

He was left with 38 seconds on the clock and the score read 3-5. From the corner of the mat the coaches shouted for him to “Keep shooting!”. Bolduc earned another point with an escape, which tied the match.  With the clock stopped at less than 10 seconds remaining, the wrestlers re-positioned themselves to finish their match.



After he took his stance before the whistle sounded, Bolduc suddenly fell to the floor without warning. Within seconds he was surrounded by coaches and medical professionals. Head coach Brian Killion said “I have no idea what happened there, I think he’s okay, but I have no idea.”

While he was being examined by a medic, it seemed that he was back to normal. Coach Barry added, “You don’t put a kid back on the mat” in reference to Bolduc being able to wrestle, but had the match be declared a default due to injury.

This tournament had a disappointing finish, but he was proud to have made it to State in the first place. “It was a big accomplishment, I did not think that I would be on varsity my freshman year, but it was one of my goals.”

The focus of the wrestling season is to compete at state, but the lasting memories are formed elsewhere. Bolduc’s favorite part of the tournament was “hanging out with the team and coaches and having that time to bond.”

Reflecting on the entire season, Bolduc said “Yeah, it was hard and tough, but with the friends that you make and the bonds that you share with them it makes the season much more enjoyable. The beginning was hard just because I have never practiced that hard in my life for wrestling, but after a little bit it got easier”

As the only freshman on varsity, Bolduc sets the attitude for the upcoming season. Like many of his teammates, his dedication extends past the Fossil team. He will be spending his time training and improving through Bear Cave Wrestling in order to earn his 2020 State Title. When asked, he said “A state championship is what motivates me, that is one of my big goals.”


Ben Parker


Annabeth Sarbacker

Parker grabs his opponents leg.

As a junior, Ben Parker stepped up to the mats of the State Tournament ready to compete in the 160 pound weight class representing Fossil Ridge High School. He wrestled in two matches and was defeated in both which gave him a 26-18 record for this season.

His first match, bout 71 was ended with a major decision and the score was 13-1. Period one of the match was marked by a takedown scored by his opponent. Following that, the second period began with Parker’s single point escape after 18 seconds. He was met with a takedown and two nearfalls, but he was able to avoid being pinned.

On Friday February 22, his second match was against a wrestler from Pomona High School and it was finished with a score of 11-3. Bout 204 was made up of three escapes completed by Parker while his opponent scored with five takedowns and one escape.

Akin to the previous duels and tournaments of the season, Parker held a determined attitude and looked at state as a way to gauge areas of improvement. Already he is planning for the 2019-2020 season he said that he was “Looking forward to qualifying more guys.” He also committed to “Leading a better team next year.”

As the friendships are the highlight of wrestling for most of the guys, Parker reiterated that with his favorite part of the weekend being “Just hanging out with the three guys… and bonding with the rest of the team and coaches was a lot of fun.” He also stated that “I’m proud of the fight. I didn’t see many guys give up, I mean, Mikey worked his butt off and then worked so hard he passed himself out.”

“I’m proud of the fight.

— Ben Parker

While the State Tournament of 2019 did not hold a title for Parker, he looks to next wrestling season to claim his spot on the awards stand and concluded the tournament with “Lets get ‘em next year.”

Cody Ginther


Annabeth Sarbacker

Ginther attempts to keep his opponent in the ring.

Fossil Ridge High School sophomore, Cody Ginther, was one of four wrestlers to qualify for the State Tournament. He left the tournament after winning three out of his five matches, earning him the fourth place state title.

Beginning on Thursday, February 21 Ginther stepped up to the mat with confidence about competing in bout 55 against a Thornton High School wrestler. Starting the tournament on a strong foot, he won the match by major decision with a score of 12-2. Later, he revealed  “…well I was really nervous, but you know, I got over the nerves after I started talking around to people and socializing ‘cause that really calms me down. So you know, I feel good.”

After his first victory he let on, “It was a lot of fun. I just went out there and wrestled my hardest. The kid tired out pretty quick  so yeah, that was pretty nice of him.”

In regards to his then upcoming matches on Friday, February 22 he said, “oh yeah, definitely, I was born ready.”

As Ginther warmed up for his first match of the day, he was told “Just go out there and wrestle smart, please.” by Dalton Riba, one of the coaches. His match was won with a score of 6-4, and Ginther was also victorious in his second match of friday with a score of 7-5.

Saturday, February 23 Ginther strolled into the Pepsi Center with confidence. His final match was bout 385 which would decide the third place champion of the tournament.

He went up against a student from Pomona High School and the first period of his match was uncertain as his opponent scored two points from a takedown. Within seconds this was countered with a single point escape from Ginther. He gained momentum and was able to score another two points with a takedown as the clock read 3 seconds left. The clock ran out as Pomona’s competitor earned an escape, effectively tying up the match.

The second period began with an escape from his opponent, followed by another takedown. With seconds counting down, the match was concluded with a fall from Ginther.


After a sobering end to the tournament, he said that it was full of “ups and downs”. He elaborated with “I hate losing, but I’m proud of how I did in my last match…I can’t undo that so it is what it is.”  

Annabeth Sarbacker
Ginther receives his award for fourth place.

Ginther holds high expectations for the performance of his team next season. He sternly added “You guys need to work harder and especially the incoming freshmen, our freshmen this year showed up and they didn’t feel like they needed to work hard and it really showed on the entire team- so wrestling’s weird, everything that you do in the room reflects on all of us and it either builds us up to be better or builds us to be worse so I think that our younger guys need to work harder and that includes me.”

Looking onward from this tournament he said that his one goal for next season is “Winning state.” He also added, “I’m basically going to spend every day working as hard as I can.” When asked for final commentary on the tournament or season, Ginther smiled and said, “I love you mom.”

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