CHSAA announces state wrestling tournament will be held in Pueblo this year
The Colorado High School Activities Association has announced that the 2021 State Wrestling Tournament will be held at the Southwest Motors Events Center in Pueblo, in a press release Wednesday. The events center, which is a little over 5 hours from Craig, has previously hosted regional basketball and cheer competitions.
As a result of the decision from CHSAA, Moffat County High School wrestling coach Tyler Seislove reacted with a calm and reserved attitude.
“To me, it doesn’t really change a whole lot. It doesn’t really matter whether we’re wrestling in Denver or in Pueblo. I mean we knew the state tournament has been approved already. So where we wrestle doesn’t really matter,” Seislove said. “We knew wherever it was we just have to show up and have our game ready.”
The long drive to the state tournament is not something that worries Seislove as the team regularly travels for meets throughout the season. This season, the longest trip they will make is for their last meet of the season, a quad dual against Delta, Gunnison, and Alamosa at Delta High School, around 185 miles from Craig.
“Where we’re located in Colorado, we’re used to traveling long distances throughout the year, continuously to get good competition and wrestle in matches. So, while it’s definitely not a home event or anything, I don’t think it will really effect us because we’re used to traveling,” Sieslove said.
As is common practice for the team at the state tournament, only those that qualify for the state tournament are allowed to make the journey to the final meet of the year.
The events center seats 3,264 people, something that will undoubtedly be modified as a result of COVID restrictions. The crowd is a piece of the tournament that Seislove looks forward to having his team perform in.
“Big arenas are definitely new for a lot of our guys, although we do wrestle in some bigger arenas throughout the year. I’m hoping with the bigger arena, that spectators will be allowed in to watch their kids,” Seislove said. “I would prefer to see a 16-man bracket at state over spectators being allowed in.”
Tyler Seislove prides himself on being a team-first coach, which makes him want more wrestlers at the state tournament rather than more fans.
“I mean, for my view point as a coach, the athletes are the ones that come first in my mind. I think the season is for athletes,” Sieslove said. “I mean obviously it would be nice for the spectators to be there and I want them to be there so that their families can support our athletes, but I always keep our athletes first in mind when it comes to our program and having more guys qualify for states. It gives us more experience under our belt, and better matches throughout the year. I just think it would be better overall for them.”
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