Roman Gutierrez didn't need his top three wrestlers to win the Moffat County High School wrestling team's third consecutive state title -- at least that's what he told the three seniors at the hotel Saturday morning before the rest of the team left without them.
"He had us stay at the hotel in the morning during the consolation rounds to rest and not think about our matches too much," said Ty Weber, who had qualified for the 152-pound championship match, which would be later that night. "He told us that they were going to win the championship for us in the morning and we wouldn't have the pressure of winning the team title in the championship round."
So as Weber, Ty Grandbouche and Trevor Sloan hung out at the hotel and played Play Station, the six Bulldogs still alive in the consolation bracket went to the Pepsi Center. They had one goal -- win enough matches to keep the team's 96-78 lead over Fort Morgan at 13 or better, which would keep their lead out of reach for Fort Morgan's two finalists.
The five wrestling warriors going into battle Saturday morning were Eric Fredrickson (112), Bryan Hampton (119), Korey Kostur (125), Jason Mosher (140) and Brandon Duarte (171). All five had won their third-round matches Friday night after a tough second round in which the Bulldogs went 3-6, and scored 20 points while Fort Morgan went eight for eight and scored 34 points to get within three points of the Bulldogs, 54-51.