NIWOT -- All the usual suspects will be accounted for at this year's annual Boulder Valley Invitational wrestling tournament. But this year's tournament will have a new name.
To be known henceforth as the Gary Daum Classic in honor of venerable former Niwot coach Gary Daum, the tournament will take place on Saturday at Niwot High School. At 9 a.m., there will be a ceremony to honor the late Cougars coach's family.
"That's kind of the big thing this year," Niwot head coach Scott Sanchez said. "It's a good opportunity to honor the family."
Local squads Boulder, Erie, Fairview, Frederick, Holy Family, Monarch, Longmont, Lyons, Niwot, Silver Creek and Skyline will once again highlight the 14-team field for the area's top early-season tournament. No new teams will attend this year's tournament.
Golden won last year with 188 points, and Boulder, Monarch, Holy Family, Longmont and Niwot rounded out the top six team spots.
Each year, the Gary Daum Classic is an opportunity for wrestlers to find the early challenge they seek, whatever that may be.
"That's the good thing about this tournament," Sanchez said. "You have a wide variety of competition so that some of your newer kids should be able to pick up some wins and your top-ranked guys can get some competition. Once you get down to the finals, there are tough kids at every weight. It's a good tournament to hang your hat on as a wrestler."
This year, Frederick's Jesse Ortiz will be a going for a second straight title after winning the 106-pound title as a freshman a year ago. Holy Family's Julian Prieto and Longmont's Ivan Wolf will also be going for repeat individual titles.
Skyline's Braden Richards and Holy Family's Julian Prieto each finished second last season. Erie junior Ladd Bunker enters ranked fourth in Class 4A at 160 pounds and also took second last year.
Also finishing second in 2012, Longmont's Forrest Wetterstrom enters as a favorite to win the 182-pound title.
Holy Family's Dan Jansen enters ranked third in 3A at 220 pounds. He also finished second in 2012.
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