LARAMIE– The University of Wyoming wrestling team will hold practice inside the “Pepsi Pregame Zone” in the Indoor Practice Facility before the Homecoming football game on Saturday. The open practice will take place from 3-4:30 p.m. MT in the IPF.
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Fans Encouraged to Stop By Practice
Fans are welcomed and encouraged to stop by and get to know the faces of the Cowboy Wrestling Program. The Pokes will also sign autographs immediately after practice.
UW Wrestling Season Opens on November 4
UW will open the season by hosting the 40th Annual Cowboy Open on Nov. 4 before heading to Lincoln, Neb., for the first dual of the year against the Huskers.
UW will continue on the road for the UNK Holiday Inn Open (Nov. 18), Cliff Keen Invitational (Dec. 1-2), a dual with Iowa State (Dec. 9) and the Reno Tournament of Champions (Dec. 17) before hosting Oklahoma State in Cheyenne on Dec. 19.
First Dual Will be January 12
The Pokes first dual inside the UniWyo Sports Complex is set to take place on Jan. 12 against CSU Bakersfield. Additionally, Wyoming’s dual against Fresno State on Jan. 27 will take place in the Arena-Auditorium.
Wyoming returns three NCAA qualifiers in seniors Archie Colgan and Bryce Meredith, as well as junior Branson Ashworth. The Pokes also have 20 other returners, in addition to an 11-member group of newcomers.
Branch’s Quick Thoughts Weight-By-Weight
“The lower weights will be a test for our young guys,” UW head coach Mark Branch said. “Trent (Olson) and Drake (Foster) are both guys we’ll look at. We know they are capable, and after a few practices we can already see Cole (Verner) is very competitive as well. He also has experience with him being a transfer. He’ll be a guy we can depend on.”
133-Pound Weight Class
“We haven’t had consistency at 133-pounds in a while. We have Ronnie (Stevens) who is a senior and wants to make the most of it and Montorie (Bridges) is very talented and shows a lot of promise.”
“It should be a competitive situation throughout the season. Bryce (Meredith) and his adaptation to new rules will be key for him. We’ve focused on it since last spring and he is such an intelligent wrestler. I think if he stays healthy, he’ll be right there.”
149-Pound Weight Class
“We have a number of guys that could be at 141, but 149 is more true to them. Jaron (Jensen), Sam (Turner) and Ben (Hornickle) will all compete for the spot.”
“All three of them are different wrestlers, but very talented and bring something different to the table. I could see us using them at different times based on our opponent.”
“Archie (Colgan) was one win away from All-American last season. We’ve noticed how well his preseason has been and how confident he is. We believe he belongs, but he still has to put the work in in order to make the most of it.”
165-Pound Weight Class
“Branson (Ashworth) spent all of last season as the smaller guy at 165. With the effort he had all summer and the weight he has added, I’m excited to see the way he competes in this weight class. He still moves the way he did last year but now he has some power behind it.”
174-Pound Weight Class
“Kyle (Pope) finished strong a year ago and was competing against some of the best wrestlers at 174. It was him trying to figure out how to compete with his size. It’s about getting him healthy right now, and then having him continue to build on what he was able to do last year.”
184-Pound Weight Class
“At 184-pounds, Luke (Paine) is definitely more natural at this spot. He bounced around a bit last season but I think he’ll be more comfortable there.”
“Chaz (Polson) is another guy who can be competitive at this weight as well. At the end of the year I think we’ll be solid here.”
197-Pound Weight Class
“The 197-pound weight is still in the works right now. Cody (Vigoren) has had to deal with some major injuries the last couple of years. But the response from him has been great and he wants to compete. There are a couple young guys that very well could step in as well.”
“In terms of heavyweight, I’m not against wrestling a true freshman at this point. We know Sam (Eagan), Danny (Gordon) and Hunter (Mullins) could run with it, but we will need to competitive at this weight. It is such an important weight for this team and we hope someone will be able to establish themselves as practice progresses.”
Fans can buy season tickets for the Pokes at the link above or by calling the Wyoming Athletics Ticket Office at 307-766-7220.