DENVER — For the past year, Valley senior Macoy Flannagan has been a human roadblock for Holy Family's Kolsen Welham.

As last year's state wrestling tournament, Flannagan defeated Welham 16-11 in the semifinals. Since then, Welham has lost to Flannagan five times throughout his junior season.

The latest duel between Flannagan and Welham ended in an 8-5 decision in Flannagan's favor. Unfortunately for Welham, his latest loss to Flannagan came in the 3A 170-pound state championship match.

"He's a great competitor and he earned it," Welham said. "I mean, 51-0, that's insane. I gave it my best and I wrestled alright but he earned it, he really did."

With Saturday night's championship victory, Flannagan (51-0) tied the Colorado prep record for most wins in a single season. Welham (36-9) won't be sad to see him graduate.

Even despite Saturday's loss, the future remains bright for Welham. He has steadily moved up the podium since he finished fifth at regionals as a freshman and fifth at state as a sophomore. Now that he has a state runner-up finish under his belt, Welham has high hopes for his senior season in 2016-17.

"This was a good season overall," said Welham, who never felt completely out of the finals match against Flannagan. "Each year I come further and further than I expect. I'll just keep working and working and hopefully I can reach the top next year."


First year Holy Family coach Nestor Pino also remains excited about Welham's potential.

"He wrestled his butt off and gave it his all the whole season," Pino said. "That just wasn't our match, that's all. The Flannagan kid is really tough and there's a reason nobody beat him this season. It was a treat to be his coach this year and we're looking forward to next year."

Brad Cochi: or