As the season winds toward state, the Moffat County High School wrestling team went into Saturday's triangular at Palisade looking to regain some confidence after a near loss to conference foe Rifle a week ago. Coach Roman Gutierrez said he saw the team he's used to seeing at Palisade.
"We had a 180-degree turnaround from last weekend," he said. "Now we need to focus on getting healthy."
Even with four regular varsity wrestlers out of the line up because of sickness or injury, the Bulldogs went 20-3 in the triangular and won the duals 64-0 against Steamboat and 52-15 against Palisade.
"I thought we could wrestle against everybody that was there and we did," Gutierrez said.
Two of the top wrestlers at the meet were Steamboat Springs' Will Zimmerer (275) and Palisade's Travis Bounds (189).
Moffat County Senior Trevor Sloan continued his dominance in the heavyweights with an 11-3 decision over Zimmerer.
"Trevor wrestled a smart match and handled him well," Gutierrez said.
Without Brent Chamberlain (189), the Bulldogs didn't have anyone in Bounds' weight class but senior Brandon Duarte moved up a class to take on the sixth-ranked wrestler.
Duarte had a lead with 10 seconds remaining in the third period when Bounds took him down and earned near fall points to take the win, 11-7.
"We had him," Gutierrez said. "With literally no time left he got the near fall points and the win. Brandon wrestled him tough and that's what we're looking for at the end of the season."
The Bulldogs took one step toward getting healthy with the return of junior Jason Mosher, who had missed the Meeker/Battle Mountain triangular Thursday with sickness. The junior had a victory in the 140-weight class against Palisade and moved up a class against Steamboat to get the win at 145.
"Mosher performed well but you could tell he was tired," Gutierrez said. "We'll focus on getting him back to full strength next week."
As for getting the rest of the walking wounded healthy, Gutierrez predicted that senior Ty Grandbouche would return this week after being out a week with an illness. The three injured Bulldogs, Chamberlain, freshman Korey Kostur (125) and junior Charlie Martinez (160) are likely to sit it out again this week and try to be back for the regional.
"Korey came down with us and it looked like he was moving around better," Gutierrez said. "We can just hope they'll be back in time."
Bulldogs wrestlers who were undefeated at the tri-meet were, Steven Englert (103), Eric Fredrickson (112), Bryan Hampton (119), Deric Dill (125), Kaleb Brown (135), Mosher, Ty Weber (152/160), Shayne Zimmerman (160), Scott Garoutte (215), Sloan (275).
Moffat County's last competition before the regional tournament is a dual against state ranked Delta on Friday at MCHS.
David Pressgrove can be reached at 824-7031 or email@example.com.