For the first time in 2003, the Moffat County High School wrestling team lost a dual -- in fact they lost eight of them. But the losses came with an asterisk.
"We only took eight wrestlers," said assistant coach Ron Linsacum, "and half of those guys are going to be freshmen."
The Bulldogs traveled to the Western State College team camp. The team was at the camp from Tuesday to Sunday and competed in a total of 16 duals.
The team had seven empty weight classes and finished with an 8-8 record in the duals. The defending Class 4A state champions finished in ninth place out of 22 teams.
Meeker won the tournament with Hotchkiss coming in second and six of the top nine teams were from the Western Slope.
"Wrestling is the Western Slope's sport," Linsacum said.
" The camp is just another example of that."
State qualifiers who traveled were Korey Kostur, Eric Fredrickson and Scott Garoutte. Kostur finished the weekend with the best winning percentage of the team at 12-1. The sophomore-to-be wrestled at 145 pounds, several classes above where he'll be next season.
"The little Kostur kid had a great week," Linsacum said. "He was wrestling guys heavier and stronger and he held his own."
Garoutte finished 8-1 and Fredrickson ended the tournament 7-4.
Kyle Fredrickson was the other upperclassman to travel, joining freshmen Cody Norman, Chris McAlexander, Jake Braselton and Levi Weber.
"The young guys got their butts kicked early," Linsacum said. "They could have given up but they hung in there and earned some valuable experience."
MCHS head coach Roman Gutierrez didn't attend the camp as he was on vacation.
David Pressgrove can be reached at 824-7031 or firstname.lastname@example.org