A bit of "home cooking" is what the Moffat County High School varsity wrestling team will look for at 6 p.m. Friday when wrestlers start the season against the Elizabeth Cardinals in a dual at the high school gym.
Saturday, the Bulldogs will finish the first weekend when they take on all comers in the Steamboat Springs tournament.
"We will be wrestling with a lot of young kids," said Bulldogs coach Roman Gutierrez said Wednesday. "We have a couple of kids out in Cody Fredrickson and Shaun Hadley who got hurt last night. Those are two kids that usually would be starters in our lineup."
Gutierrez said the Bulldogs put all their energy into the wrestle-offs Monday and Tuesday. Wrestle-offs are intra-squad matches to determine who wrestles at what weight.
"The wrestle offs went kind of the way we thought it would go," said Gutierrez. "They went really well for what I looked for like aggressiveness, and it was fun to watch. As a whole they wrestled hard for the three periods that they were in."
The Bulldogs varsity lineup for this weekend is: 112 pounds, Mark Hastings, sophomore; 119 pounds, Kyle Kostur, sophomore; 125 pounds, Travis Linsacum, sophomore; 130 pounds, Ryan Linsacum, sophomore; 135 pounds, Bret McMillen, junior; 140 pounds, Kurtis Kostur, senior; 145 pounds, Jeremiah Noland, senior; 152 pounds, Chris Herod, senior; 160 pounds, Coalin Hume, senior; 171 pounds, Kevin Field, senior; 189 pounds, Curtis McCoy, senior; 215 pounds, Cliff Stehle, freshman; and 275 pounds, Mike Wooten, junior.
"We will be missing at 103 pounds, but we will be filling out the rest of the weights," said Gutierrez. "For the junior varsity team we don't fill out at the top end, but other than that we have some pretty good kids wrestling."
According to Gutierrez, the Cardinals are a familiar opponent.
"Elizabeth is in the same classification as we are," said Gutierrez. "They were at the Steamboat Springs tournament last year. They are out of Denver and they come over the day before. We are really young and I hope to see a lot of fireworks come on Friday. This year we have more home meets than we usually do and the wrestlers are always fired up to wrestle at home."
Kurtis Kostur, who placed third in state last year, believes the team is shaping into one to be reckoned with.
"I think that this year the team is looking pretty good," said Kostur. "We are missing one guy and so I don't know how that will affect us. It's always nice to wrestle in your home town and I think that we have a good chance of beating them up (Elizabeth). We are also looking forward to seeing what we can do in Steamboat Springs."
On Saturday, teams that will be in Steamboat Springs are Salida, Eagle Valley, Dakota Ridge, SoRoCo, Elizabeth, Meeker, Rangely and Hayden.
"There are 10 teams that come to the Steamboat Springs tournament," said Gutierrez. "We have kind of dominated the tournament in years past. The kids just wrestle well there.
"It's a good starting tournament and it gets the kids up and going. The teams there don't always have a strong team, but they have individuals that perform really well."