The first competition after Christmas break is a good time to work kinks out. Eric Fredrickson quickly recognized his.
"My timing was way off," the 130-pound Moffat County senior said. "I'm usually right on when it comes to that."
Fredrickson received two cautions and two penalties for moving before the whistle when he was on top in referee's position. His match against Palisade's Zac Harvey was close enough that those two points could have cost a win.
"I didn't want to give him the match because of those points," Fredrickson said.
During the third period, Fredrickson showed how much he didn't want to give the match away.
The blue-and-white Bulldog went ahead 8-6 with an escape and a takedown early in the period. He pulled away to win, 10-6, with another takedown in the final seconds.
Fredrickson's victory was one of nine, eight on the mat and one by forfeit, in Moffat County's 51-22 win against Palisade on Thursday night.
"Palisade has some tough individuals, but I thought we came out and wrestled well against them," coach Roman Gutierrez said.
The first weeks of January traditionally are grueling for Moffat County wrestlers. During those days of practice the Bulldogs become well acquainted with the stairs of the high school.
Gutierrez said that his guys looked a little sluggish and attributed it to practice.
"(Senior) Brent (Chamberlain) told me he was convinced we wanted them to look bad in front of the home crowd because of the way we were working them," Gutierrez said. "A lot of them have sore legs, and they're a bit beat up from this week."
Chamberlain was the only Bulldog to have two pins Thursday. Most of the Moffat wrestlers had a nice break Thursday, because eight of them sat and watched during the Battle Mountain dual. The Huskies brought five wrestlers.
The only Bulldogs to wrestle twice in the triangular were juniors Daniel Cramblett (135) and Korey Kostur (140), sophomore Trenton Duarte, (152), Chamberlain (171) and freshman Chet Peterson (189). Those five were a combined 7-3.
Peterson, junior Dennis Green (145) and freshman Matt Kincheloe (119) have had little to no varsity matches this season. Kincheloe wrestled at the Warrior Classic, but the other two were in varsity singlets for the first time.
"I thought Trenton and Matt wrestled well despite their losses," Gutierrez said. "They'll come along."
Kincheloe had a cradle locked up on Palisade's Tony Dicamillo with 20 seconds left in the third period but couldn't roll it over. He lost, 5-9.
Duarte, who pinned Battle Mountain's Sergio Sandoval in his first match, didn't have enough to overcome Palisade's Rocko Weaver, 1-5.
Overall the Bulldogs were 21-6, with one loss coming by forfeit because senior Shayne Zimmerman didn't make weight. Moffat had 10 pins-for-a-win and nine forfeits, leaving only two wins that weren't by pin.
They'll have a short practice today to prepare for their only home tournament.
The Dogfight Duals begin at 8 a.m. Saturday.