The youth movement for the Moffat County wrestling will continue for another year. At least that's the initial report after the team attended Western State College's wrestling camp in Gunnison from June 7-14.
"I was pleased," coach Roman Gutierrez said. "Other than our first day, we wrestled well."
The team camp consisted of four days of wrestling in which teams faced each other in dual formats.
The Bulldogs finished the week with a 14-2 dual record. Their two losses came on the first day of wrestling with a three-point loss to Fruita-Monument and a one-point loss to Palisade.
"We were rusty the first day," senior-to-be Daniel Cramblett said. "After that we were on fire."
Moffat County defeated Palisade by 16 points the second time they faced. That match was for third place.
"If we don't have a bad first day we could have easily took the thing," Gutierrez said.
"I really thought the younger guys stepped it up the rest of the time," senior-to-be and defending state champion Korey Kostur said. "We're going to be a tough team."
Cramblett and Kostur were one of five Bulldogs to come away from the tournament with only one loss. Future juniors Brice Boling, Jake Breslin and Nick Navratil joined the two seniors with only one loss.
Cramblett (145-pounds) lost to third-place state finisher Cody Clark of Meeker, 4-1. Kostur (152) lost 4-2 to Pueblo South's Adam Urenda, who finished fourth at state. Pueblo South's Victor Sanchez, a third place-finisher, defeated Boling in a 112-pound match.
"Our underclassmen who had varsity experience wrestled well," Gutierrez said.
Breslin, a first-year varsity wrestler as a sophomore, said he gained confidence from his 14-1 record.
"I felt like I was better," he said. "I felt stronger too because I've been lifting weights. That helped a lot."
Moffat County forfeited 12 points each dual without wrestlers in the 215 and heavyweight classes. Gutierrez said that with two or three exceptions, the group that went to the camp was close to next year's top team.
Kostur and Cramblett are the only two seniors on the team. Often, the team relies on the senior class to carry it.
"It is a lot different," Kostur said. "But a lot of the younger guys have varsity experience."
Ten of the returning wrestlers this season saw varsity time last year.
The camp champion was Class 5A Eaglecrest. Gutierrez said he thought his team could have matched up with the champions well.
"We never saw them," he said, "but the way the teams lined up we would have competed tough against them."