Peewee wrestlers start on road to success

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The sport of wrestling and the game of chess have several things in common. Both are competitions of mental skill, knowing certain moves and how to counter to those moves. Both are kinds of battle, and both are only truly mastered if started at a young age.
"Peewee wrestling grounds the kids in the fundamentals. In fact, the kids who have been doing this will run over the kids who haven't when they get to middle school and high school," peewee Coach Skip Kostur said.
There is only one place the board game and the sport don't hold common ground a chess game doesn't usually draw a crowd like Saturday's peewee tournament held at Craig Middle School. With more than 320 competitors ranging in age from 4 to 12, and with full entourage of relatives and coaches, it was standing room only in the school's small gym.
Several girls competed along with the boys and hit the mats to show off their moves.
The matches were held on one-quarter of a regular wrestling mat one mat was divided into quadrants and a second, smaller mat was split in two.
Where there's wrestling in these parts, there's sure to be Moffat County High School influence. On Saturday, it came in the form of referee's most of them were Bulldog wrestlers who volunteered their Saturday to oversee the matches.
The young wrestlers displayed the full gambit of emotions in the matches, some cried, some held a steely a glare, and others couldn't keep a smile off their face as their eyes sought their parents.
"These competitions are great for the kids. It teaches them good sportsmanship, helps build their self-esteem, and burns off some of their energy," said Dwayne Powell, ex-vice president of Craig's peewee wrestling.
Powell has been coordinating peewee tournaments for the past four years in Craig, but plans to turn over the reins.
The peewee season runs for three weeks before the first tournament, with youth practicing twice a week and participating in dual held each Friday. There are two tournaments at the end of the season.
The practices work on the basics that youth need to be successful in the sport understanding the rules, take downs, escapes and pins.
Many parents at the tournament showed as much emotion, if not more than their wrestlers. Kostur said the matches are high energy and filled with adrenaline for everyone involved.
"All of my sons have gone through the program, and I can remember being the parent out there at the edge of the mat," he said.
There may have been a few youth at Saturday's match who will someday find themselves on the mats of Moffat County High School.
"I am aggressive, so it's kind of been passed on to my son pinning turned out to be his favorite part of the whole deal," said Jamie Blaschuk about her son, Jerry's, first year of wrestling.
Several Northwest Colorado peewee wrestlers place at Craig tournament
Craig Gearhart 1st
M. Doolin 2nd
M. Peters 4th
Eric Fleming 4th
J. Breslin 4th
Clancy Garoutte 1st
C. Salazar 2nd
Bryson Scott 3rd
D. Reece 4th
Halen Raymond 2nd
Nick Moyer 3rd
Phillip Schroeder 1st
H. Mader 4th
Shane Vice 2nd
Shawn Archuleta 4th
Andy Sperl 1st
Garrett Verplanck 2nd
Levi Weber 1st
Trenton Duarte 1st
J. William 2nd
Cody Norman 3rd
Justin Haddan 2nd
Kyle Finn 3rd
Nick Navratil 4th
Blake Kawcak 2nd
David Hickson 3rd
Drew Gillespie 1st
J. McAlexander 2nd
J.J. Martinez 3rd
Casey Barnes 3rd
Austin Cless 2nd
Jake Bingham 3rd
Keegan Harmon 4th
W. Oberwitte 3rd
P. Cozzens 4th
J. Blaschuk 2nd
Dylan Villa 3rd
Lane Causer 4th
Joshua Pritchard 2nd
Kendall Hixson 2nd
C. Tomlin 4th
J. Stillwell 4th
Colby Haddan 2nd
C. Terry 3rd
Ian Duzik 4th
N. Williams 1st
Ivan Nielsen 1st
C. Nelson 4th
Mark Dockstader 3rd
Nate Navratil 2nd
B. Williams 2nd
G. Meduesk 1st
Jake Tatum 1st
Garret Franz 2nd
Kieth Scott 1st
D. Sather 2nd
Dustin Camp 3rd
Nate Tomlin 1st
Alex McCoy 4th
Aaron Nielsen 4th
Josiah Trujillo 3rd
K. Miller 4th
Braxten Franz 3rd
Landon Powell 1st
C. Steele 2nd
Noah Murray 3rd
D. McCarty 4th
Clint Samson 2nd
Mitch Vedapo 4th

Outstanding Wrestlers
Mark Doolin Hayden 1st
N. Williams Hayden 1st
T. Warby Vernal 2nd
T. Miles Parachute 3rd
B. McKenzie Vernal 4th
D. Fruetel Rifle 5th
D. Manzaneres Parachute 6th

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