In the name of pride

Moffat County High School's senior wrestlers display leadership

Their wrestling room.

With an emphasis on the "their," that's how some the seniors on the Moffat County wrestling team refer to their practice area.

"The seniors are expected to be leaders," senior Brice Boling said. "We know how everything goes. It's a pride thing."

The underclassmen have a lot to look up to with six seniors on the team.

Boling, Jake Breslin, Nick Navratil, Trenton Duarte, Chris McAlexander and Levi Weber comprise the senior class. Boling, Breslin and Navratil all placed at the state tournament last season.

"We just try and get everyone mentally prepared," Boling said. "Psych up the younger guys and tell them about the tradition (of Moffat County wrestling) and keep it going. Getting them ready so they're not over psyching themselves and so they are ready to compete."

Coach Roman Gutierrez said he addresses the seniors every season.

"I tell them it's their team, and I ask them how far they want to take them," Gutierrez said. "Their (the seniors') role is to lead and to lead by example. What they do on the mat and what they do in the practice room is what the younger kids look to."

Roman said he places his trust in the seniors because they are the ones sent to "do the job," whether it's at practice or a dual.

For Boling, practice seems more intense this year than last year, but he said that it's a good thing. And with January approaching, the more focus the better.

"January is hell month for us," Boling said. "The coaches push us to be conditioned for state and everyone hates it, but it's a lot better for us."

Gutierrez said that January may not be the most pleasant month, but in the end, the team sees that hard work pay off.

"I guess you could call it hell," Gutierrez said. "We work the kids mentally and physically."

With the holiday break under way, team members are not required to be at practice, but again Gutierrez and Boling noted that it's the job of the seniors to get the rest of the team to open gym during the down time.

"It all depends on them," Gutierrez said. "If the team shows up, practice will resume normally, if they don't show up, we'll make up the hours. We have to be in better shape than everyone else is."

Boling said that the effort the team is putting in is helping make everyone better.

"We (seniors) will help out the younger guys with moves if they want," Boling said.

The complete team aspect is one Gutierrez believes will get the Bulldogs to state and back in championship contention.

"We're not where we need to be yet," Gutierrez said. "But as a whole, all the kids are working hard, and every year I count on the seniors to be the leaders."

Melanie McDaniels can be reached at 824-7031, ext. 211, or mmcdaniels@craigdailypress.com.

Commenting has been disabled for this item.