Moffat County's Nathan Tomlin grapples for position Saturday in Rifle. The Bulldogs were part of a five-team West squad, which lost to the East, 921-861. Moffat placed seventh out of 10 teams overall.

Kara Pearson/Glenwood Springs Post Independent

Moffat County's Nathan Tomlin grapples for position Saturday in Rifle. The Bulldogs were part of a five-team West squad, which lost to the East, 921-861. Moffat placed seventh out of 10 teams overall.

Bulldogs finish in bottom half

Moffat County wrestlers place seventh in Rifle

If you go

What: MCHS wrestling versus Meeker

When: 6 p.m. today

Where: Moffat County High School, 900 Finley Lane

Call: 824-7036

— In a season full of what Moffat County wrestling coach Roman Gutierrez has called "a bunch of up and downs," the Bulldogs encountered another down Saturday.

Moffat County placed seventh out of 10 teams that competed in the "Rumble in the Rockies" tournament, hosted by Rifle High School.

"We aren't losing by decisions," Gutierrez said. "We are getting pinned too many times, and it's costing us. It's something we're not used to."

The Rumble was split into two five-squad teams, the East and the West. The East, made up of Berthoud, Pueblo West, Elizabeth, Nucla and Eaglecrest, defeated the West, made up of Rifle, Glenwood Springs, Moffat County, Delta and Palisade, 921-861.

Moffat went 2-3 in its five dual meets, tallying 176 points. Pueblo West was the top team, going 5-0 while earning 269 points.

"It has got to sink in to these guys that there is a panic button they need to push when they are on their backs," Gutierrez said. "They need to come up off their backs. They need to find a way to win, instead of trying not to lose."

Matt Kincheloe and Troy Vernon found the way Gutierrez mentioned, as both wrestlers compiled a 5-0 record.

Vernon won three by pin, and Kincheloe two.

"Kinch and Troy wrestled well," Gutierrez said. "but I was most impressed with Eric Fleming. He really stepped it up a notch this weekend."

Fleming had won just five matches this season while competing on the junior varsity team.

On Saturday, the junior won four times, pinning three of his opponents.

Josh Satterwhite and Jesse Breslin went 3-2, Asay Crofts, Charlie Griffiths, Lyle Schaffner, Nathan Tomlin and Cory Vigil each went 2-3, and Kye Adams and Scott Mann compiled 1-4 records.

Gutierrez said the team "is lacking in the strength department," something he and his staff began to address last week.

"We started to have workout sessions right after practice," Gutierrez said. "We are going to address this whole strength issue because that is where we are lacking. We are going to get them in the habit of lifting so they have a choice. Do they want their opponent to be stronger than them, or do they want to do something about it."

Moffat County will get a break from what Gutierrez said are the "stronger teams" in the southeast today, when 2A Meeker visits the 4A Bulldogs.

"We are working on making our weakest link stronger," Gutierrez said. "Can we shut out Meeker? Probably not. But, we will keep stepping it up and try for a respectable outcome."

JV wrestling

Bulldog junior varsity wrestling coach Ron Linsacum brought just four wrestlers to Grand Junction on Saturday to compete in the 8-man bracket tournament.

Moffat County made the most of it.

Cody Nelson finished 4-0 to win the 103-pound weight class, and Aaron Nielson and Nate Moon captured fourth. Todd Stewart went 2-2 but didn't place.

"We were better on our feet defensively, but offensively we still weren't as aggressive as I'd like to see," Linsacum said. "We had a lot of fun together though. These boys have a great attitude. Hopefully it will carry over to this week."

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