You're not going to read a lot about them in the regional story, but some of the guys who came through in the biggest way for Moffat County High School in its regional win were the ones who eventually lost.
Five regional champions and a bus full of 11 state qualifiers go together with Moffat County wrestling like clouds on a rainy day. But what you didn't see, unless you were there, were the wins that might not have been written about or talked about, but make Moffat County wrestling what it is just as much as the guys on the top of the awards stand.
The first round loss that junior heavyweight Kyle Fredrickson suffered upset him so much that he ran a lap around the hotel that night for every second he was on the mat -- 53 to be exact. "Big Fred" suffered another loss in the consolation semi finals and was eliminated from state contention, but his two wins, both pins, were big points for his team in the end.
Two guys who weren't in the spotlight this year for Moffat County were sophomore Daniel Cramblett (145) and freshman Nick Navaratil (160). Both wrestlers moved up to varsity about a month ago to replace seniors who left the team. Neither of them had any varsity experience and Cramblett had to put on 10 pounds just so he could be in the 145 pound weight class.
Neither of the green grapplers made it to state but both pulled off victories that they weren't supposed to get. Cramblett pinned his first round opponent but lost in the second round. He then pinned Rifle's Johnathon Terry, an opponent who had defeated him two weeks before.
Navaratil only won one match but that victory was a pin against Tim Farlow of Palisade. It was the same Tim Farlow who had pinned Navratil two weeks ago in a dual.
Account for those five pins and those are the points that put the Bulldogs on top at the regional.
Additionally the guys who qualified for state that weren't counted on to do so before the tournament are also a big slice of the victory pie. Senior Jody Moncrief certainly opened the eyes of some of his teammates and the Moffat County crowd as he wrestled his way to a third-place finish. Moncrief had a frustrating start to his varsity season losing five straight, but now he's at the big show.
Freshman Levi Weber was an unranked wrestler in a bracket with the top two ranked wrestlers in the state and three others in the top 20. He scrapped his way to a fourth-place finish.
I hesitate to call the Moffat County regular season lacking, but it was a different team out there in Broomfield. After seeing what every wrestler came with at the regional tournament, it should have been encouraging to the fans. Except for maybe four matches that could have gone their way and didn't, the Bulldogs probably converted at least one or two doubters about the Blue and White's chance to fill the trophy case with another first-place trophy.
If that is to happen, they'll need some more unheralded winners at state.
Talking with everybody at the regional it's going to be one of the closest team races in years and that second round win in the consolation final by a Moncrief or a Weber could be the one to put Moffat County on top.
David Pressgrove can be reached at 824-7031 or firstname.lastname@example.org