With three duals, 21 matches that went the full three periods and more than five hours of wrestling, the Moffat County High School wrestling team earned some rest Friday night following the first half of the Dogfight Duals.
"We used to be faster," said senior Kaleb Brown (140-pound class). "It took forever tonight for us to get our job done."
While it may have taken longer than some would have liked, the results were still favorable for the Bulldogs. The Blue and White went 29-13 as a team and won all three duals without much of a challenge from their competitors in the points category.
"This is a first time for us to take so long in duals," coach Roman Gutierrez said. "But we knew it wasn't going to be easy."
The Bulldogs started off the tournament against Grand Junction Central. The Bulldogs were 10-4 against the Class 5A opponents. Notable wins for the Bulldogs were back-to-back victories for junior Eric Fredrickson (119) and senior Deric Dill (125) against ranked opponents. Fredrickson defeated fourth-ranked Steve Reynolds, 9-5, and Dill held on to take seventh-ranked Jesse Beynon 4-2. Moffat County won the dual 41-16 against the bigger city foe.
Next up for the tournament hosts was 10th-ranked in Class 4A Adams City. Just as they had against Central, the Bulldogs went 10-4 against the Eagles. Adams City's 10th-place ranking in the state comes from its strength in the middle weights. The Bulldogs went 2-2 against ranked Eagles. Dill let a 7-5 lead slip away in the third period for a narrow 8-9 loss. Senior Jesse Brookshire (130) continued to find a way to win as he pinned seventh-ranked Nathan Kuenzler in the second period after trailing by as much as four in the match. Sophomore Korey Kostur (135) solidified his third-place ranking in the state with a 9-7 win over fifth-ranked Bucky Long. Finally, senior Kaleb Brown (140) couldn't hold on to an early lead against defending state champ Joey Deaguero 4-9. When all the points were tallied, the Bulldogs took Adams City to the doghouse, 51-15.
The final dual of the night for the Bulldogs was against the virtually unknown Cody, Wyo., team. The only preliminary information Moffat County had on the team was that Cody narrowly defeated Adams City earlier in the tournament.
Sophomore Steven Englert (112) started off the dual on a good note for Moffat County with a pin in the third when he was trailing 6-8. Fredrickson, Brookshire, Kostur, senior Jason Mosher (145), junior Shane Zimmerman (152), senior Charlie Martinez (160) and junior Scott Garoutte (215) finished out undefeated nights with wins against Cody. The Bulldogs took the dual 44-22.
"We did a lot better of a job winning the close matches tonight," Mosher said. "For the most part, we won when we had to and that's good for our confidence coming into tomorrow."
The Bulldogs will warm up with Mountain View tomorrow for their fourth dual.
"Mountain View has four forfeits so it won't be close in the team score," Gutierrez said. "But, they've got some salty guys who will challenge us."
Looking forward to the rest of the tournament, Gutierrez said the mini-tournament -- the top two wrestlers in each division in the two pools make it into a semi-final like tournament Saturday afternoon -- will be a knockdown, drag-out.
"It's going to be brutal tomorrow afternoon," he said. "We'll have quite a few guys start in it, but who knows how many we'll have survive."
The second-day of the duals begins at 9 a.m. today at Moffat County High School
David Pressgrove can be reached at 824-7031 or firstname.lastname@example.org