Hinkley senior Max Carbajal takes a break from wrestling practice, Feb. 10 at Hinkley High School. Carbajal is ranked No. 4 in 5A at 220 pounds by On The Mat and is in search of his first trip to the state wrestling tournament. (Marla R. Keown/Aurora Sentinel)

For decades, Hinkley High School has supplied scores of volunteer students for the state wrestling tournament.

Thunderbirds coach Terrance Goodroad hopes he has more of his team members heading to the Pepsi Center Feb. 20-22 to compete in the Class 5A tournament, rather than work it.

“I don’t want to send any volunteers down there from my team this year,” quipped Goodroad, whose team heads to the 5A Region 3 tournament at Fort Collins High School Feb. 14-15.

“I can see three guys for sure making it, maybe even four or five; they’ve put in the work and made Hinkley proud,” he added.

No state berth is a certainty, as senior 220-pounder Max Carbajal knows all too well.

Carbajal enters the tournament ranked No. 4 in 5A by On The Mat and has his eye on facing undefeated Regis Jesuit senior Grant Neal — last season’s 5A 195-pound state champion  — but all he has to do is look back at last season for a reason not to take anything for granted.

Just over a week before regionals, Carbajal suffered two broken ribs while training with teammate Isaiah Silva. He rested up and gutted it out at regionals, but aggravated the injury and finished sixth, outside of the four spots that advance to state.

“I just remember how heartbroken I was last year, so from the beginning of the season, I’ve just wanted to make state so bad,” Carbajal said.

Carbajal comes into the regional tournament at 33-2, with one loss coming to 4A No. 1 Evan Lancelot of Pueblo Central in the semifinals of the Northglenn Norse Invitational, which denied him a chance to face 5A No. 1 Neal in the championship match.

With two wins at the Region 3 tournament, he could get his shot. If it happens, both would be headed to state no matter what.

“My ultimate goal is I want to beat Grant Neal, it’s all I’ve been thinking about for six months now,” he said.

Carbajal’s state chances look good, while Goodroad also likes how Silva (23-6) sits at 182 pounds and won’t count out the chances of steady sophomore 106-pounder Ben Rhoton and Carbajal’s freshman brother, Serj Chavez, at 132 pounds. Brackets set up well for other Hinkley wrestlers to qualify.

Regis Jesuit could come out of Region 3 with several state spots itself as Neal, brothers Donovan (132 pounds) and Logan (145) Ronan, sophomore Nick Elgin (195) and freshman Trent Schultz (160) among others have strong possibilities.


NORTH (REGION 3 at Fort Collins High School)

Aurora teams: Hinkley, Regis Jesuit; Other teams: Rocky Mountain, Cherry Creek, Greeley West, Adams City, Boulder, Centaurus, Fairview, Fort Collins Horizon, Legacy, Loveland, Monarch, Poudre, Standley Lake

Schedule (all times approximate): Feb. 14 — 1 p.m.: Championship first round, quarterfinals and consolation first and second rounds; Feb. 15 — 10 a.m.: Championship semifinals, consolation third round and consolation semifinals; 2:30 p.m.: Championship, 3rd place and 5th place matches (wrestlebacks to follow if necessary)

Hinkley wrestlers: 106 pounds — Ben Rhoton, soph. (25-10); 113 pounds — Rafael Garibay, soph. (26-13); 120 pounds — Gideon Greer, soph. (17-16); 126 pounds — Cassandra Ledger, soph. (10-18); 132 pounds — Serj Chavez, fr. (28-6); 138 pounds — Jonathan Perdomo, fr. (2-13); 145 pounds — Seth Nance, sr. (23-17); 152 pounds — Trevor Moore, jr. (16-18); 160 pounds — Tristan Harper, sr. (20-19); 170 pounds — Erik Kaminen, sr. (22-13); 182 pounds — Isaiah Silva, sr. (23-6); 220 pounds — Max Carbajal, sr. (33-2); 285 pounds — Tyler Manual, sr. (12-15)

Full Class 5A regional tournament schedules, here.

Regis Jesuit wrestlers: 106 pounds — Brian Hodes, fr. (3-12); 113 pounds — Brandon Minear, fr. (21-8); 120 pounds: Carl Camposanto, fr. (26-11); 126 pounds — Jackson Kochevar, jr. (14-11); 132 pounds — Donovan Ronan, jr. (36-5); 138 pounds — Connor Midas, sr. (17-11); 145 pounds — Logan Ronan, jr. (41-4); 152 pounds — Justice Taylor, jr. (5-15); 160 pounds — Trent Schultz, fr. (33-8); 170 pounds — Jacob Meurer, jr. (6-21); 195 pounds — Nick Elgin, soph. (6-4); 220 pounds — Grant Neal, sr. (32-0)

Courtney Oakes is Sports Editor of the Aurora Sentinel. Reach him at 303-750-7555 or sports@aurorasentinel.com. Twitter: @aurorasports. Facebook: Aurora Prep Sentinel

Courtney Oakes is sports Editor and photographer with Sentinel Colorado. A Denver East High School alum. He came to the Sentinel in 2001 and since then has received a number of professional awards from...