Bullpups defend their 13th District Championship

There are some things in this world that happen so often that people take them for granted. In the 1980s, the San Francisco 49ers won Super Bowls under Bill Walsh. In the 90s, Phil Jackson led the Chicago Bulls to championship after championship. This Saturday, Craig athletics had an event occur in Meeker that produced a result Craig residents are used to the Craig Middle School wrestling team won its 13th consecutive District Wrestling Championship with Coach Don Guffy at the helm.

The district championship has been won a total of 17 times by Craig Middle School. The team won it four times in the early and mid-80s, and then went on its 13-year winning streak starting in 1988.

"It has been a great run here at the middle school, but its taken good wrestlers to do it," Guffy said. "I'm just glad to be able to help these kids develop, and move onto successful wrestling careers in high school."

The season went well for the middle school team who won all but one tournament, the Montrose Tournament, where the Bullpups pulled in a close second to the host team.

Along with the team honors, seven wrestlers earned the prestige of individual district champions Wyatt Sampson, Eric Fredrickson, Kory Kostur, Shayne Zimmerman, Brent Chamberlain, Scott Garoutte, and Kyle Fredrickson.

Out of those, Sampson, Zimmerman, and Chamberlain have earned the title of District Champion two years running. They will be a group of nine wrestlers who will compete at the high school level next year.

"I'm sure that not too far down the road, I'll be watching some of these guys wrestling for another championship. I expect good things out of them," Guffy said.

During the season, Guffy saw a good deal of progress made by all of his wrestlers, honing in on the basics which make a good wrestler. The biggest advantage the coach felt that the season gave the athletes was the chance to compete in the maximum amount of matches. Each wrestler participated in 10 to 20 apiece.

The Meeker Tournament marks the end of the season for the middle school. Now, the only wrestling available is freestyle, which youth can sign up for now.

The non-school sponsored freestyle wrestling teams offer a chance for wrestlers' parents to become more involved with their child's sport instead of relying on outside sources to fill the responsibility, Guffy said.

"It's a great chance for parents to become more incorporated in their child's life, and offers many opportunities for the whole family. Many parents of wrestlers I've coached have used the out-of-state tournaments as the family vacation," Guffy said.

Guffy will hang up his wrestling shoes until next fall. He looks forward to taking some time away from wrestling, he coaches at both the middle school and high school levels, so he can return fresh next year.

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