Niwot wrestler Tommy Stager knows that, at the end of the day, seeding really doesn't mean much when it comes to achieving his ultimate goal.

But he'll take the seed he received heading into this week's state championships that run at the Pepsi Center through Saturday night.

Stager, a 132-pound junior, won a regional title last weekend at the Class 4A Region 2 tournament, earning himself a top seed in the bracket for this week's state championships.

If his bracket holds to form, Stager (43-4) should face Windsor's Matteo Ambriz (36-4) in Saturday's finals.

But Stager isn't about to take that for granted, and knows that there's a lot of wrestlilng to be done before a state champion is crowned.

"(A regional title) definitely helps with seeding," said Stager, who finished fourth at 120 pounds last year. "Then again, you still have to wrestle regardless of who you are wrestling.

"My ultimate goal is to be state champion, and in order to accomplish that, it shouldn't matter who I'm going to wrestle. I still have to be the best in the bracket."

For someone like Stager, a wrestler who is expected to make a run at a state title, that makes complete sense. But for other wrestlers, a good seed can mean the difference between a trip to the podium or a quick exit from the tournament.

Get a favorable seed, win a first-round match and gain a little momentum, pull off an upset or two and you can find yourself with a medal around your neck. Face a tough opponent in the first round and take a loss, and you may never recover.


But Stager is right — to be a champion, you have to beat whoever is put in front of you, no matter what the seeding.

• The state wrestling tournament is something all prep sports fans — and really, all sports fans in general — should experience at some point.

It is the grand spectacle of the high school sports season, and the storylines that come out of the Pepsi Center are innumerable.

The Parade of Champions in particular, and the championship round that follows, is spectacular. If you haven't seen it, you should make it a point to get down to Denver and experience it.

• If you can't get down to Denver, stay tuned in to and follow us on Twitter at as we will be updating live with pictures and words throughout the tournament. It'll be the best way to keep track of all the local wrestlers.

News and notes

• Centaurus alum and current CU women's lacrosse player Sarah Brown was named Mountain Pacific Sports Federation Defensive Player of the Week on Monday after helping the Buffs to an 11-10 victory at the University of Denver last Friday.

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