HS Wrestling: Warrior Classic returns for 41st year

Fourty-one is the magic number for this year's Warrior Classic wrestling competition.

It's the 41st year of the tournament's existence. IT'll also include 41 teams showcasing the best wrestlers from Colorado, Utah and Wyoming, just to name a few.

"Coaches know there are good kids here," head coach Laurence Gurule says. "They want to come and see good kids and wrestle them and put themselves up against the best."

The Classic was created in 1976 by former Central wrestling coach Ted Ducray

"When I was in high school it was an eight-team tournament and our JV's were in it," Gurule says. "My first year I wrestled in this as JV. As the years went on and when Ted came along he made it bigger."

It's also a good indication of how wrestlers will fare at the state tournament.

"It's one of the hardest tournaments in Colorado," Central junior Andrez Martinez says. "To be able to come compete and see how good you're doing and if you get on that podium that you're a good kid and see where you're at in state."

The only thing pinning the competition from growing even more is the lack of space.

"We could expand if we had the room but we've got to have an arena of some sorts to do that," Gurule says. "But one of these days it could get bigger if we get a bigger place to host."

Arena or not, the tournament fills more than enough talent. This year will include eight top-ten teams and 50 top-four wrestlers in their respective classes.

"I've heard of top state contenders not placing at the tournament and going two-and-out," Martinez says. "Coming in here and competing is knowing that you're one of the best."

The Warrior Classic will begin at 10 A.M. on Friday and go through Saturday at Central High School.

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