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Niwot's Tommy Stager (left) and Monarch's Cole Polluconi will be among several locals competing next week in the Junior Fargo National Championships.
Cliff Grassmick / Daily Camera
Niwot’s Tommy Stager (left) and Monarch’s Cole Polluconi will be among several locals competing next week in the Junior Fargo National Championships.

LOUISVILLE — The Monarch High School wrestling team has many reasons to be excited about the present and future of its program.

Next week, the Coyotes have five to be exact.

For the first time, Monarch has qualified five wrestlers who will compete for Team Colorado at the ASICA/Vaughan Cadet and Junior Fargo National Championships from July 18-25. Currently at CSU-Pueblo for training camp preceding the national tournament at the FargoDome in Fargo, N.D., the Monarch wrestlers’ presence is very noticeable.

“I think we’re still on an uphill climb right now and we have a lot of young guys who are really good,” Monarch 132-pounder Cole Polluconi said. “A lot of the guys here have been to Fargo before, we’re just following their lead and trying to get better every day.”

Last winter, the Monarch wrestling team qualified a school-record six wrestlers for the Colorado High School Activities Association State Championships. All six wrestlers fell in their first round matches but Polluconi wrestled his way back to place fourth in the 120-pound weight class. Polluconi, Alex Scott (106), Xander Rens (113), Keegan Feenstra (160) and Taylor Dawal (132) will have a chance next week to place in the top eight at the ASICS/Vaughan nationals and earn the title of All-American.

In order to qualify for the national tournament, each of Monarch’s five wrestlers placed in the top three at a regional qualifier tournament or at the Colorado state tournament for freestyle and Greco-Roman wrestling.

“We think it’s a huge deal,” Monarch head coach Ezra Paddock said. “I don’t know if there are any other schools that have five guys on the team but I doubt it. It’s good for a school to have one or two but to have five is great. We’ve never had any before so it’s huge for us to be represented so well on such a great team.”

After placing 30th in the Class 5A team scoring at last season’s high school state tournament, the Monarch group is excited about the experience its young wrestlers are already getting. Dawal, Monarch’s lone senior-to-be on Team Colorado, will compete in the junior division in Fargo. The other four — incoming sophomores Polluconi and Scott and incoming freshmen Rens and Feenstra — will compete in the cadet division. Whether each of them wins or loses in Fargo, the Monarch grapplers have already lived up to their coach’s expectations of competing and improving during the offseason.

“Our wrestling community, we’re so excited,” Paddock said. “Everybody puts so much time in and we’re really looking forward to seeing what we can do this next school year.”

Legacy’s Ryan Deakin, Broomfield’s Darek Huff, and Niwot’s Tommy Stager also qualified for the national championships.

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