A 4:30 a.m. date to catch a bus for the trip to the Wildcat Invitational wrestling tournament may have caught up with the Moffat County wrestling team.
"I think we wrestled real flat in that first match," Bulldogs coach Roman Gutierrez said of Moffat County's slow start in the annual season-opening dual tournament.
Palisade defeated Moffat County 48-30 in the teams' first dual of the day.
Moffat County and Palisade tied for the best record among the five teams Saturday. Palisade won the team title based on its victory against Moffat County.
"As the day progressed we got a little more aggressive," Gutierrez said.
The Bulldogs rallied to defeat Fruita Monument, 42-39, Gunnison, 56-18, and Central, 50-27.
While some Moffat County wrestlers were making early season mistakes, senior 189-pounder Nick Navratil wrestled flawlessly.
Coming off a pin of his Broomfield opponent in Friday's season-opening dual victory, Navratil went 4-0 Saturday, pinning all four opponents.
"I was really focused coming into this tournament," said Navratil, a fifth-place finisher at 189 in last year's state tournament.
"I was kind of rusty the first couple of weeks," he said.
Navratil said he didn't focus on any particular sport during the off-season but instead lifted weights.
He wasn't surprised in pinning all four opponents.
"I try to get things done right away," he said. "I'm a determined kid."
Two of his pins came in the first period, the other two in the second period.
"I'm going to try to keep it up all season," he said of his pin streak.
The Bulldogs are at home against Steamboat Springs in their league dual opener this week and hit the road to wrestle Roosevelt, Utah.
The next week Moffat County wrestles in the Warrior Classic in Grand Junction, one of the biggest tournaments of the regular season.
"The Warrior's a tough tournament," Navratil said.
Gutierrez is more focused on this week.
"We got caught and made a few mistakes," he said of Saturday's 3-1 finish at the Wildcat Invitational. "Hopefully we'll learn from that and keep getting better."