Bulldogs finally back at home

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After earning seven individual championships and sweeping the team title at the Grappler Invitational in Las Vegas, Nevada, one might think the Moffat High School (MCHS) varsity wrestling team would take things easy.

Think again.

"Practice has been intense and it will be going into the regional and the state tournament," said Bulldogs coach Roman Gutierrez. "They came back and were tired Monday, but that is to be expected after a long trip."

The Bulldogs, who have only been home once this year, will host the Moffat County Invitational Friday and Saturday at the high school gym.

"We are bringing in some good teams this weekend," said Gutierrez. "Vernal, Utah, who is always first or second in the state tournament, they finished 20th out of 78 teams in the Reno (Nevada) tournament a couple of weeks ago."

MCHS will start the dual portion of the tournament at 4 p.m. Friday against Eagle Valley followed by a match at 5:30 p.m. against Thornton and then finish out the first day against Florence at 7 p.m.

"Thornton is ranked No. 4 in Class 5A," said Gutierrez. "Grand Junction Central is ranked No. 6 also in Class 5A. I am not sure how we are going to come out. There are going to be some intense matches."

At 9 a.m. Saturday, the Bulldogs will tangle with Valley (Greeley) and then the mini-individual tournament will start at 1:30 p.m. with the finals slated to begin at 3 p.m.

"Especially in our home meet we want to do well," said Gutierrez. "This year the field is tougher than last year. We added Thornton and Valley. We will have our work cut out for us.

"People will see some good competition. Sickness is getting some of our junior varsity wrestlers, but hasn't filtered into our varsity team."

Players agreed practice hasn't been easy and they are glad to be at home this weekend.

"The tournament was a lot fun," said sophomore Travis Linsacum, who finished in first place at Las Vegas at 125 pounds. "We did real good over there. It wasn't the toughest tournament. Practice has been real tough.

"We have been picking it up the last few days. It's good to be close and not have to travel."

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