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In this series, from November through March, young Western athletes have shared what has brought them success on and off the mat. For high school grapplers, their proving ground comes each February through each state’s championship. Previous Rocky Mountain National Events features can be found in their entirety at www.rmnevents.com > News. This feature appeared in the April 3, 2018 issue of Wrestling Insider Newsmagazine. Click here to subscribe to WIN.
By Bill X. Barron
Head coach Arnie Gurule started the Outlaws Wrestling club in 2004 for youth in Western Colorado. He states: “Kids stay with us for 6-8 years before high school and almost everyone returns to practice during their high school years.”
Youth wrestler Kadin Mulford proclaims: “The guidance of my coach, Arnie Gurule, as well as his support in and out of the wrestling room have made a substantial impact on my life. He has supported me through so much more than just wrestling: attending my football games, encouraging me in school, and taking me along on hunting and fishing trips. All his love and care mean more to me than anything.”
At the 2018 RMN National Championships in Colorado, Outlaw Dawson Collins was a national champion. In addition, the club had three second-place winners: Kadin Mulford, Tyler Archuleta, Hassin Maynes and two sixth-place medalists: Gage Chelewski, Tanner Hickey.
At the national level, Outlaws have had one Fargo champion in Jacob Seely. Gurule’s son Matthew placed sixth at Jr. Nationals and is a NHSCA High School champ. Jacob Seely won a UWW Championship, and James Martinez earned a Division II national title for Mesa State University (CO).
Hassin Maynes is typical of the rapid ascension of wrestlers in the Outlaws program. As detailed by his mother Melissa: “Hassin has wrestled for just over three years, progressing enormously since joining the Outlaws. Before joining the Outlaws, Hassin had never placed in a big tournament; since that time Hassin has placed in the top six at several national and state youth tournaments.”
Winning is not the only goal; another third-year wrestler, Gage Chelewski, finally earned his first national tournament medal this March. “Although he never placed before, he enjoyed the challenge and was grateful for the experience,” says his mom Amber. “One day he knew his persistence and dedication would pay off.”
Over these 14 years, multiple Outlaws have earned recognition at the Colorado High School state championship. One club wrestler, Matthew Gurule, was named the 5A 2009 Outstanding Wrestler while competing for Grand Junction Central at 113 pounds, finishing his season 43-0. This club has produced four four-time high school state placers: Jacob Seely (Fruita), Gurule, Dylan Martinez (Grand Junction High), and Jacob Trujillo (GJHS).
Outlaw club members have gone on to earn seven individual Colorado state championships: — Gurule twice, Trujillo three times, Seely once and Dawson Collins once, helping them to the 5A 2018 team title with a last-second score in the title match. Several other Outlaws have finished as Colorado state place-winners, including six state runner-ups, six third-placers, two fourth-place winners, three fifth-place medal-winners, and one sixth-place finisher.
Arnie teaches life lessons as well as wrestling technique to his young disciples. Tristian Dean’s mother, Samantha, asserts: “Coach Gurule not only teaches his wrestlers the skills of wrestling, but he also teaches them respect and honor. A tremendous influence in Tristian’s life, the attributes Coach Gurule has instilled in him will aid him in his quest for greatness on and off the mat.”
In case you think that Coach G takes it easy on his club wrestlers, Devin Hickey’s mom Andrea sets the record straight: “Now let me tell you, a practice with Arnie Gurule is no joke! The Outlaws practice harder than anyone I know; the conditioning is what would make some people quit and never go back. Lots of tears are shed, but they are absolutely worth it when it comes time to battling on the mat.”
Young Kadin has taken the success of former Outlaws to heart: “I hope to someday win an RMN Triple Crown, Ring of Fame and a Tri-State Belt,” says Kadin. “In the coming future, my ultimate goals are to become a four-time Colorado high school state champion and to wrestle for the University of Nebraska.”
Concludes Kadin’s dad Devin: “Kadin attributes his success not only to his hard work in the wrestling room, but also to the amazing role models the Outlaws provided like 2018 5A 113-pound state champ Dawson Collins (Grand Junction), 2018 Warrior Classic 132-pound champion Dre Martinez (Grand Junction Central), and four-time Colorado high school state-placer Jacob Seely (Fruita).”