The Moffat County wrestling team entered the season's first meet last weekend in Grand Junction as the No. 10 ranked team in the state.
A disappointing fourth-place finish followed, and the ranking was gone.
An extra week of practice and a trip across the state line paid dividends for coach Roman Gutierrez's squad, as the Bulldogs won all five of its dual meets Saturday in Utah.
"The competition wasn't as tough as last week," Gutierrez said. "We moved some kids around into different weight classes, and it worked out for us."
Moffat County defeated Morgan, 48-24, host Union, 73-6, Uintah, 52-30, Duschene, 40-24, and Bear River, 45-30.
"We made some really big improvements from a week ago," Gutierrez said. "Our conditioning is good, and the younger kids are stepping up."
As far as dropping out of the state rankings, Gutierrez wasn't concerned.
The 26th year coach has five state titles under his belt, and the season is still young.
"The ranking doesn't matter to me," he said. "A spade is a spade. You have good kids, and you have the ones that are a work in progress. We have a long season left to go."
Gutierrez said he is proud of the kids he has on the team and the dedication they contribute to the program.
"This is a really fun group," he said. "They all like to learn, and eventually it will pay off."
Sophomore Nathan Tomlin was awarded the outstanding wrestler trophy for his accomplishments Saturday.
Tomlin also doubles as a winger on the Bulldog Hockey Club and was ejected for fighting last week against Telluride.
When asked what he likes more: fighting on the mat or in the rink, he was quick to respond.
"Definitely on the mat is better," he said. "I don't get in trouble for it."
Tomlin carried his fighting spirit with him to Utah, defeating all five of his opponents, four by pin.
"Tomlin had some first-match jitters," Gutierrez said. "After those went away, he tore everyone up."
Cory Vigil kept up his impressive season. After going 5-0 last week in Grand Junction, the senior repeated the feat in Utah, pinning four of his opponents in his five match victories.
"Cory just absolutely beat up everybody," Gutierrez said. "He's feeling good right now."
The Bulldogs will compete in the annual Warrior Classic, a two-day tournament featuring the state's top 32 teams, beginning Friday in Grand Junction.
Gutierrez is looking forward to the competition, which he says is equal to or better than the level found in the season-ending state tournament.
"Our region is very tough," he said. "After the first round, it will be stud after stud after stud. We will get some valuable experience from it, that's for sure."
John Vandelinder can be reached at 824-7031, ext. 211, or email@example.com