GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. The Central Warriors wrestling team has long been a dominant force throughout the Valley. As the reigning Southwestern League champs they have a lot to live up to, but it won't not be the easiest task with just four guys returning to the mat.
They lost a huge part of their team to injuries, big names like Rubalcaba, Quintana, and Mayberry, just to name a few, while a handful of others decided to drop wrestling from their athletic focus.
Now there's some concern about what's to come this season, but guys are ready to rally together and step into bigger roles - no matter how intimidating it may be.
"It's discouraging having all these injuries, but I've always got kids that are going to back it up," said head coach Laurence Gurule. "Sure they have inexperience but they've got to be mentally tough and the more mentally tough they are the harder they work and the luckier they're going to get."
"I feel like we have a really high work ethic in this room," said returning athlete Isaac Bair. "A lot of us are young but I still think we're giving our all in the practice room and that maybe we'll struggle toward the beginning of the season but I feel towards the end we're going to do what we have to do."
"I feel like a lot of the younger guys are working extra hard," said returning athlete Kyle Martinez. "They're stepping up to varsity, and it's hard because I did it my freshman year and it was pretty hard, so I feel like our team this year, we're going to have to step up."
Central hosts the annual Warrior Classic Friday and Saturday, starting at 10:00 AM.