Golden Eagle Wrestling Club of Highlands Ranch, Colorado has 14 state placers including 6 State Champions.
At the end of their third year, Golden Eagle Wrestling Club (GEWC) walked away with several state placers including 6 state wrestling champions at the 2017 State Youth Wrestling Championships. Their novice (< 2 years’ experience) team took home 3rd place out of over 100 Colorado wrestling teams falling behind Cheyenne Mountain and Duran Elite; both teams from Colorado Springs. “I am extremely proud and happy for our kids!” said Scott McDoniel, Head Coach and Director. “They battled hard all weekend and have done the needed work to get on the podium.” GEWC’s Novice team finished the State Championship Tournament with five state champions, four 3rd place finishers, two 4th place finishers, and a 5th place finisher.
It did not stop there. GEWC did extremely well with their experienced division wrestlers. This is their third season as a wrestling club and this is the first time GEWC had wrestlers place in the experienced division. GEWC walked home with a State Champion, Runner-Up, & 5th place finisher.
“What started three years ago as a brand new wrestling club in Highlands Ranch that not many people knew to now being known all over the state is a testament to our kids’ work ethic and resiliency” said Coach McDoniel. “This is one of the most difficult sports; mentally and physically. You have to be willing and do the work and be willing to compete” continues Coach McDoniel. Building a wrestling program is no easy feat. Wrestling is a technical sport that is very similar to other combative sports (e.g., Martial Arts). Wrestlers may go their entire career and never stand on the podium and for us to have the success we are experiencing says a lot about what our program offers” said Coach McDoniel. They continue to improve in the State Championship standings. As a team they have improved from 15th place in 2015, 6th place in 2016, to 3rd place in 2017. Golden Eagle Wrestling Club is definitely one the best youth wrestling clubs for new wrestlers and their results prove it. Since 2015, GEWC has produced 9-State Champions and 20-State Placers.
2017 State Youth Wrestling Championship Results
8 & Under: Cooper Torpy; Novice State Champion
8 & Under: Emmett Alexander: Novice State Champion
8 & Under: Gabriel Thomas; Novice Runner-Up
8 & Under: Lance Alexander; Novice 4th Place
10 & Under: Anthony Hamilton; Novice State Champion
10 & Under: Carter Nealy; Novice State Champion
10 & Under: Griffin Langer; Novice 4th Place
10 & Under: Nathyn Gottberg; Novice 5th Place
12 & Under: Gage Friedrichs; Experienced State Champion
12 & Under: Cameron Flores; Experienced Runner-Up
12 & Under: Dylan Barnard; Novice 3rd Place
12 & Under: Alexander McGown; Novice 3rd Place
12 & Under: David Bond; Experienced 5th Place
15 & Under: Collin Mooney; Novice 3rd Place
Wrestling offers many benefits to kids and my primary goal is to help kids love the sport. It is about progression and setting realistic expectations with each wrestler and their parents” says Coach McDoniel. “We do not rush our kids into competition. We determine the athlete’s maturity, age, and skill level when deciding on competition. I want kids to stay in the sport so we follow a model that focuses on technique and mental progression. When our kids feel comfortable then we introduce them to various levels of competition” continues Coach McDoniel. Wrestling loses many kids due to other winter activities. However, wrestling does not require you to be the biggest or strongest athlete. Wrestlers compete against kids that are similar in size which makes the sport enticing to smaller athletes and even girls. The sport of wrestling is growing with females. Colorado is on the leading States for female wrestling even having their own “Girls Only” State Championship Tournament.
Golden Eagle Wrestling Club offers collegiate, freestyle, and greco-roman wrestling. Their program runs from September through May and practices at Mountain Vista High School. They will conclude their winter season by competing at Rocky Mountain Nationals the weekend of March 17th. “It will be a learning experience for our wrestlers. We anticipate seeing some of the best wrestlers from around the country” says Coach McDoniel. It will be a test for GEWC as only the best wrestlers compete in this tournament. “We have to compete so we understand where we are as a club and evaluate areas to improve upon” continues, Coach McDoniel.
GWEC will begin their spring season immediately following Rocky Mountain Nationals. The spring wrestling season is focused towards the Olympic style of wrestling. The United States is one of the better teams in Men’s and Women’s Freestyle Wrestling. Being close to the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs offers many kids an opportunity to learn from the best. GEWC has a club clinician coach that is successful on the world stage. Their club clinician is G’Angelo “Tracy” Hancock. Hancock is a resident athlete at The United States Olympic Training Center and is a 2016, Junior World Bronze Medalist and is currently the number one ranked 98 Kg wrestler in the United States vying for shot on the U.S. Senior’ World Team. “We are fortunate to have his experience and the kids love him. I am excited what the spring season has to offer as we expand our experience with Olympic wrestling” says Coach McDoniel.
Registration for Spring Wrestling is open. If you are interested in getting your son or daughter in the sport of wrestling then GEWC might be the best opportunity given their track record. You can learn more about their Highlands Ranch wrestling club at www.GoldenEagleWrestling.com.