ThunderWolf wrestling announces recruits

ThunderWolf wrestling announces recruits

Coach Dax Charles dips into local, area talent for program's second season back.

By TRACY RENCK
THE PUEBLO CHIEFTAIN

Year one of the rebirth of the Colorado State University-Pueblo wrestling program last season was a bumpy ride.

That was expected.

Now, Pack coach Dax Charles has added 18 new recruits to help bolster his team.

"We went out and got some quality (incoming) freshmen wrestlers from around the state and the country to help supplement the older guys who we have in the program," Charles said.

The University of Southern Colorado wrestling program, now known as CSU-Pueblo, was eliminated on May 15, 2001, because of a shortfall in the school's athletic budget. However, in May of 2007, the Colorado State University System Board of Governors unanimously approved the expansion of the athletics program at CSU-Pueblo. In 2008-09, the school reintroduced football, wrestling and women's track.

Charles' an NCAA Division II national champion wrestler in 1992 for USC and a longtime assistant at the school, has plenty of local and area flavor in his second recruiting class.

Pueblo County's Bryce Sciumbato, South's Derek Ruiz and Central's Kyle Newton are all in the ThunderWolves' fold. They will be joined by Alamosa's Kyle Holman and Crowley County's Billy Gray. Pueblo West's Jordan Garcia, a two-time state finalist, also is walking on for the Pack. Chris McWhorter, a Pueblo South grad, also has transferred from Western State to CSU-Pueblo's team.

"There's a great talent pool of wrestlers from Pueblo and I want to keep these kids in Pueblo so they can wrestle in front of their home crowd," Charles said. "It's also great to get kids from the surrounding areas."

Sciumbato won the Class 4A 125-pound state championship in February and Ruiz was a perennial state contender at 119 and 125 pounds. Holman was a Class 4A runner-up at 135 pounds last season and Gray was the Class 2A heavyweight champ.

"I'm excited to get to compete at a good program like CSU-Pueblo and I'm anxious to see what I can do," Ruiz said. "It's good to have Bryce (Sciumbato) as a teammate now and we've been working out a lot together to get ready for the upcoming season."

Gray concurred with Ruiz.

"This is a great opportunity for me," Gray said. "I feel like with Dax and all the other coaches at CSU-Pueblo that I will improve by leaps and bounds. I know getting to wrestle in college will be a great experience for me."

Two former local state champs - Pueblo West's Tony Chavarria and Pueblo East's Markus Portillos - also are competing for the Pack.

Trevor Grant of Winnemucca, Nevada, and Treven Delaune of Marrero, La., are the Pack's most decorated recruits as they were both tabbed prep All-Americans. Grant's older brother, Justin, a senior-to-be, also competes for the ThunderWolves.

tracyr@chieftain.com

2009 CSU-PUEBLO WRESTLING RECRUITS

Bryce Sciumbato 125 pounds Pueblo

Treven Delaune
125 pounds Marrero, La.

Derek Ruiz
125 pounds Pueblo

Ryan Kirby
125 pounds Byers

Kenny Porter
125 pounds Bennett

Michael Jaquess
133 pounds Colorado Springs

Benjamin Collins
133 pounds Marrero, La.

Nick Stahler
141 pounds Palmer, Alaska

Kyle Holman
141 pounds Alamosa

Kyle Newton
141 pounds Pueblo

Levi Jutila
149 pounds North Pole, Alaska

Aaron Eberhart
157 pounds Polmar, Calif.

Dalton Harrington
157 pounds Honolulu, Hawaii

Trevor Grant
165 pounds Nevada

Salvatore Howes
174 pounds Denver

Joshua LaClair
197 pounds Booton, N.J.

Billy Gray
285 pounds Crowley County

Moises Alcala
285 pounds Westminster