LAS VEGAS -- The Moffat County wrestlers made their own variation of the saying, "when in Rome do as the Romans do" Friday -- only they substituted Rome with Vegas.
After opening the Centennial Grappler Duals with a 31-30 loss against Palo Verde, Nev., the Bulldogs decided to make a wager. The wrestler with the fastest pin during the night would win a dollar from the rest of his teammates.
The gamble worked as the Bulldogs bounced back from the opening loss to defeat Cor-onado, Nev, 59-15, Barstow, Cali., 77-6, and Spring Valley, Nev., 67-12.
"We made it fun and we stared to wrestle well," said 189-pound junior Nick Navratil. "At least we started to wrestle more aggressively."
Junior Levi Weber owned the quickest pin. He put Barstow's Anthony Barnett on his back in 12 seconds.
"We started to wrestle more aggressive the second two duals," coach Roman Gutierrez said. "Even in the close matches, we wrestled better."
For the second straight year, the Bulldogs lost by one point to Palo Verde. The Bulldogs were 5-7 in matches wrestled in the loss. The Bulldogs had two byes in the loss and led by 11 points with two matches remaining. Sophomore 215-pound wrestler Josh Satterwhite was pinned in the third period, and freshman David Hickson was pinned in the first period for the one-point loss.
"We came out sluggish," said Navratil, who went 4-0 on Friday. "I think you'll see a better team the rest of the way."
Junior Jake Breslin was the only Bulldog to earn a pin against Palo Verde. He was 4-0 with four pins in his new weight class of 125.
"I like 125s so far," he said, after making the move up a class for the weekend. "We need to be more aggressive tomorrow."
After earning only one pin against Palo Verde, the Bulldogs earned eight against Coronado, 11 against Barstow and 10 against Spring Valley.
Every Bulldog earned a pin during the evening. Satterwhite and Hickson earned theirs against the Aztecs (Barstow) to ensure that every Bulldog would wrestle today in the bracket format.
"For those two to get a win and move on, it's big for them," Gutierrez said. "The more experience the better, and they're assured of at least two matches today)."
Undefeated wrestlers for the Bulldogs through the three duals were sophomore Cory Vigil (103), Breslin, Weber, senior Korey Kostur (145), senior Daniel Cramblett (152) and Navratil. Weber and Vigil each had one bye in their 4-0 record.
The undefeated wrestlers from the duals earn top seeds in the eight-man bracket portion of the tournament today.
"We still saw some of our inexperience today," Gutierrez said. "That will be the case, but there were still some steps of improvement."
Wrestling starts today at 9 p.m. PST.