If freshman Matt Kincheloe didn't earn his varsity letter at the Dogfight Duals, he at least earned two of the most exciting wins for the Moffat County High School Bulldogs.
Twice when he trailed Saturday, the stocky 119-pounder wrapped around his opponents and them with a move called the Sanders.
"He made some freshman mistakes, but he was exciting to watch," Moffat County coach Roman Gutierrez said about Kincheloe.
In his second win, Kincheloe trailed 1-13 in the third period against Denver East's Ryan Sauceda when he pulled off the move.
"The upperclassmen told me that anything could happen when I was down 1-13, and it pumped me up," he said. "I was two points from a tech fall, so I had to try something."
The upperclassmen not only helped encourage from the sideline, they carried the Bulldogs in the tournament.
The Bulldog juniors and seniors were 21-3 on the day. The underclassmen went 14-18.
"The underclassmen matched up against the tougher wrestlers here," junior Korey Kostur said. "It seemed like their opponents were much tougher than mine."
A team that started the season young was even younger during the weekend. The Bulldogs started the season with seven sophomores, two juniors and five seniors on varsity. On Saturday, the team lineup included three freshmen, four sophomores, three juniors and four seniors.
"There is a little bit of shuffling to be done," Gutierrez said. "But we're pretty much set with who we want."
The depth of the Bulldogs helped them go undefeated in their four duals. Moffat County was the only team to have all 14 weights filled. They picked up nine byes in their four duals.
The Bulldogs started with a large lead on the top-ranked team in Class 3A, the Valley Vikings. Pins by freshman Robert Daniels (160), senior Brent Chamberlain (171) and senior Kyle Fredrickson (275), along with byes for sophomore Nick Navratil (189), senior Scott Garoutte (215) and sophomore Brice Boling (103) gave the Bulldogs a 36-0 cushion. The Vikings then got to the strength of their team in the lower and middleweights. Valley won five of the final eight matches. The Bulldogs won the dual, 51-25.
Grand Junction Central provided the closest dual of the day for the Bulldogs. Winners for Moffat County were Navratil (12-9), Garoutte (8-1), Boling (pin, 1 minute, 16 seconds) Kincheloe (pin, 1:25), Eric Fredrickson, 125, (9-4), Daniel Cramblett, 135, (pin, 3:54) and Korey Kostur (16-5).
Moffat won 37-30 and if it were not for a bye at heavyweights, the Bulldogs would have won by one point.
The Bulldogs won eight matches against Florence for a 48-22 win. Boling wrestled the closest match in the dual against the Huskies. The sophomore trailed throughout the match, including a 10-11 deficit with 35 seconds left. Boling took down John Bailey to his back with 30 seconds left for five points but the scoring wasn't over. Bailey reversed Boling and nearly had him on his back when time expired. The match ended 15-14 in Boling's favor.
In the final dual of the day MoCo won six matches and picked up three byes in a 60-21 win against Denver East. The Angels had five wins, but the reason for the 40-point difference in the dual was each team's ability to pin. Moffat County pinned in all six of its wins.
"One thing I liked today was that we are still pinning," Gutierrez said. "I don't think we got our best effort when we were on the bottom, but we didn't work on that this week."
The coach said his team would be working on getting out from the bottom before heading to Delta for a triangular Thursday and the Palisade tournament on Saturday.
Moffat County and Meeker were undefeated in the duals but didn't meet head to head. The Cowboys were awarded the team title because they scored more points in their duals.
The Bulldogs have five undefeated wrestlers. Kostur and Eric Fredrickson won their four matches, and Garoutte, Kyle Fredrickson and Navratil were undefeated with at least one bye.
"Our more experienced guys had easier people today," Kostur said.
"As a team, we need to start clicking better and going from move to move faster."