The Moffat County High School varsity wrestling team looked to be in midseason form with two convincing victories during the first weekend of the season.
The Bulldogs routed the Elizabeth Cardinals, 69-12, Friday at home and on Saturday MCHS ran away from the 10-team field at the Steamboat Springs Tournament to claim first place.
Earning pins against the Cardinals were: 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, and 189 pounds, Curtis McCoy, senior.
Mike Wooten, a junior, won in the 275-pound class by forfeit and Kevin Field won in the 171-pound class by a score of 8-5. Losses for the Bulldogs were in the 215-pound class when Cliff Stehle, a freshman, was pinned and a forfeit in the 103-pound class where the Bulldogs don't field a wrestler.
"The kids really performed well," said Bulldogs coach Roman Gutierrez after the Friday dual. "We made some little mistakes, but I thought that we wrestled really aggressive and that's exactly what I wanted to see. They got things done real quick and you couldn't ask for anything more."
Gutierrez believed his underclassmen wrestled up to their potential Friday night.
"We had seven or eight kids wrestle their first varsity match tonight," said Gutierrez. "It was a real good experience for most of them. I was really pleased with the people that turned out to watch us. Hopefully they were watching one of the better teams in the state of Colorado."
"It was a real great boost for us only losing one match and we just have to get better each week," said Noland. "I felt that I should have pinned (my opponent) faster, but it was a good match. It was pretty fun to be at home."
Saturday in Steamboat Springs, the Bulldogs finished the tournament with 241.5 points. Dakota Ridge was a distant second with 118 points and Meeker finished in third place with 111 points.
According to Gutierrez, the match Friday helped the team in the tournament.
"On Saturday the kids performed better than I thought they would," said Gutierrez. "The match the night before gave the younger kids some confidence and they wrestled really well in Steamboat Springs."
The Bulldogs walked away with seven first-place finishes earned by Hastings (3-0); Kyle Kostur (3-0); Travis Linsacum (3-0); Ryan Linsacum (2-0); Kurtis Kostur (3-0); Herod (4-0); and Hume (3-0).
Coming in second place were McMillen (2-1); Noland (2-1); and McCoy (1-1). The Bulldogs had one third-place finish in Field (3-1) and two fourth-place finishes in Stehle (2-2) and Wooten (1-2).
"I think that the Linsacum twins wrestled really well and they had a couple of tough matches," said Gutierrez. "Kevin (Field) and Jeremiah (Noland) wrestled sick and hopefully we will get them better."
The Bulldogs will next be in action at 7 p.m. Thursday when the junior varsity and varsity team faces Hayden at the high school gym.