Wrestlers get to work under new coach
The new era of Pueblo West High School wrestling appears to be off to a good start.
The Cyclones wrapped up a four-day camp in their home gym Thursday, with about 25 wrestlers ranging from middle-schoolers through veterans of the high school varsity program all joining bran new head coach Ryan Schumann.
“It went great. We had an amazing turnout,” said Schumann, who has an extensive wrestling background but is a head coach at the high school level for the first time.
Schumann grew up in Las Vegas, wrestled and coached at Southern Oregon University, and most recently was an assistant coach at Cherokee Trail High School.
So far, he’s enjoying what he has found in Pueblo.
“Everybody in Pueblo seems to love wrestling,” Schumann said. “I’m really impressed by how tough the kids in Pueblo are.”
That makes it easier to build a program and easier for a new coach to get a good turnout at his first camp.
Building a successful high school program means not only having tough wrestlers aged 13-18 but also a good feeder program channeling talented youngsters into the high school program.
Schumann said he’s already gotten help from former Pueblo West head coach David Falls, who now coaches middle school wrestling in Pueblo west, as well as others in the local youth wrestling scene.
And as for the older guys who will be on the mat for the Cyclones when the high school season opens in December, Schumann has been pleased with what he’s found.
“These are tough kids, and they have good knowledge of wrestling,” Schumann said.
One of the best among them is junior Travis Myers, who last year entered the state tournament as a No. 10 seed at 132 pounds but wrestled his way to a fourth-place finish at Denver’s Pepsi Center.
Thursday after the camp ended, Myers gave his new coach positive reviews.
“He’s dedicated to the sport,” Myers said.
As for himself and his teammates?
“I’m wrestling pretty good for summer. We’ve had a pretty good summer. We’ve gotten in a lot of tournaments,” Myers said.
In addition to the camp, Schumann has taken his new wrestlers to several tournaments and gotten a feel for what he has at his disposal heading into the high school season.
“There will be a lot of trials and tribulations. I believe every kid has an opportunity to succeed next year,” Schumann said.
The first official day of practice for the high school season is in November, with matches beginning in December and the state tournament in February.