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Ponderosa athlete is master of the mat

Cohlton Schultz honored as wrestler of the year


Ponderosa junior Cohlton Schultz is a modest wrestler who is on his way to becoming one of the best in Colorado.

Schultz moved up to 285 pounds and wrapped up an undefeated season (50-0) by winning his third straight Colorado state championship. He has been named the 2017-18 Colorado Community Media South Metro Wrestler of the Year.

“It has been a goal to be up among the best that Colorado has ever had,” said Schultz. “Every year is just trying to make one more step towards that. I know I’m a big target going into every match. I have to prepare myself very well. I’ve been working hard for a long time and it’s all paying off.”

Schultz started a superlative season by winning the prestigious Dec. 8-9 Walsh Jesuit Ironman in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio, a tournament in which he was second the past two years. Then he won the Doc Buchannan, a highly regarded in-season tourney, in early January.

All this came after he became the first American to win the world championship since 1997, when he captured the Cadet Greco World title in Athens, Greece in early September.

“He is incredibly confident but equally modest about his skills, and this season turned out to be one of the best Colorado has ever seen, yet few have really noticed,” said Tim Yount, who publishes Colorado’s On the Mat rankings. “What makes Schultz even more amazing is that he loves being a high school kid who has aspirations to be a college student athlete in due time.

“What he did this year won’t be matched again for many years. Not only did he become the first person from Colorado to win the Ironman, he defeated one of the top kids (Seth Nevills) in the world at the Doc Buchanan.”

Schultz won the Austrian Junior Greco-Roman on March 3 and continues to impress in international competition, but Ponderosa wrestling coach Tito Rinaldis isn’t worried about Schultz competing for the Mustangs as a senior.

“He’s got a pretty level head on his shoulders and understands that a lot of young kids might be in a hurry to jump to that next step, and he understands there is an opportunity to build relationships,” said Rinaldis. “I don’t think he wants to forgo any of that.

“If you look at the average age of most Olympic medalists, it is in the late 20s and early 30s. So if he wants to hit that 2020 cycle he might be a bit too young to be at that level. I don’t see him not competing as a senior in high school. I don’t think he wants to forgo the opportunity to be a four-time state champion and be considered one of the best Colorado wrestlers in history.”


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