Success breeds success.
That's the hope of the Craig Bad Dawgs wrestling program. The Bad Dawgs is a team that is open to wrestlers from the diaper dandies to eighth grade.
Coach John Mann hopes that the team's effort will continue to feed quality wrestlers into the Moffat County High School program.
The season lasts from October to April. That final April tournament concluded the first weekend of the month in Grand Junction.
"We had a successful ending to the season," Mann said. "We helped run the tournament, and we also had wrestlers do well."
The Bad Dawgs had eight wrestlers finish in the top four at the AAU Southwest Regional. Those wrestlers were: Mikey Bingham, second in the six-and-under, 55-pound class; Jake Bingham, second in 80-lb, 10-U; Ashley Giffiths, second in 8-U, 55-lbs; Kye Adams, fourth in 75-lb, 12-U; Seth Ericson, first in 80 lb 14-U; Nathan Tomlin, first in 12-U, 90-lb; Charlie Griffiths, second in 12-U, 90-lb; Scott Mann, first in 12-U 95-lb.
The referees awarded Scott Mann for the best move during the tournament. He used a Sanders and a spinner to pin two of his opponents. Both moves are signatures of Craig wrestling from the younger levels to the high school program.
"The referee didn't even know to start counting for back points during the Sanders," coach Mann said.
Throughout the season, the wrestlers competed in AAU-sponsored tournaments and earned points for each top-eight finish. If they scored enough points they earned a trip to the AAU National Tournament in New Mexico.
Bad Dawgs who earned a national berth were: Tomlin, Mann, Jake and Mikey Bingham and Charlie and Ashley Griffiths.
AAU offers financial assistance to national qualifiers through a sponsorship program that the Bad Dawgs participated in for the Grand Junction tournament.
The team sponsored a mat and helped run it for a tournament and that sponsorship money is placed in a pool to fund trips to nationals. For sponsoring a mat AAU also gave a portion of the tournament proceeds to the Dawg program.
Coach Mann said he hadn't heard whether any of the Craig wrestlers were going to make the trip in July for the tournament.
"I'm proud of the dedication everybody showed this season," he said. "We have some good wrestlers coming through the ranks."