Upon returning to school from their holiday break, the Pagosa Springs High School (PSHS) Pirates wrestling team faces a busy week.
On Thursday, Jan. 5, the Pirates will travel to La Jara to battle the Centauri Falcons.
The following day, Jan. 6, the Pirates will host the Rocky Mountain Duals.
Then, on Jan. 7, the Pirates will host the Rocky Mountain Invitational.
Besides the Pirates, 18 other teams will participate in the tournament, including the Del Norte Tigers, the Bayfield Wolverines and the Mancos Bluejays.
“The Rocky Mountain Invitational Wrestling Tournament is wrestled using a modified sixteen-man bracket,” reads a letter issued to the participating schools by Pagosa Springs High School (PSHS) Athletic Director Marcie Ham. “Using this bracket, wrestlers who lose in the championship semi-finals will wrestle for third place, while those who lose in the consolation semi-finals will wrestle for seventh place.”
In an interview with coach Dan Janowsky, he explained that the team had a couple of voluntary practices over the holiday break, and that he figured the kids who were really into wrestling would attend.
“I’d like to have a lot of live wrestling over the holiday,” said Janowsky. “I like to have unstructured workouts. We may have a little bit of structured conditioning, but other than that, the guys come in with a partner and they get to wrestle each other and experiment on things that they want to learn about, their areas of weakness and that kind of stuff.”
Janowsky said that he tries to keep practices over the holidays from becoming too structured.
“Over the holiday, I like to let them wrestle, because that’s what they like,” said Janowsky. “It’s not such a chore to come in. You let them play to the extent that wrestling is play.”
On the idea that the holidays may figure into weight loss and gain, Janowsky said that he wasn’t worried, but “that’s always a potential pitfall.”
“I think these guys are veteran enough to manage that,” said Janowsky. “It could be an issue that first week back, but I don’t think it will be a game changer. They need to do stuff on their own during break, and I feel like we have enough guys who are doing that right now.”
Janowsky stated that although wrestling three days in a row can be tough, he likes to do it several times throughout the season because that’s how the state tournament is structured.
Admission to the tournament will be $5 for adults and $4 for students.
Tournament brackets will also be available for $1 at the concession stand.
The Rocky Mountain Duals will start at 5 p.m. on Jan. 6 in the PSHS gym.
The Rocky Mountain Invitational will begin at 10 a.m. on Jan. 7 in the PSHS gym.