Bad Dogs wrestler Kaden Hixson, top, applies a headlock to fellow Bad Dog Cody Baker on Saturday during an ages 6 and younger match at the Beehive Brawl national tournament in Richfield, Utah. Baker returned the favor, winning the match by pin. The Bad Dogs placed third out of 145 teams.

Rodney Klimper/Courtesy

Bad Dogs wrestler Kaden Hixson, top, applies a headlock to fellow Bad Dog Cody Baker on Saturday during an ages 6 and younger match at the Beehive Brawl national tournament in Richfield, Utah. Baker returned the favor, winning the match by pin. The Bad Dogs placed third out of 145 teams.

Craig youth wrestling team takes 3rd in national tournament

Results

Bad Dog wrestling - Jan. 24, Beehive Brawl

Sevier Event Center - Richfield, Utah

Wrestler (weight) Record Pins Place

6 AND YOUNGER:

Cody Baker (37) 1-2 1 -

Kaden Hixson (37) 0-2 - -

Dezzee Pfister (43) 0-2 - -

Jake Shelton (55) 2-3 1 4

8 AND YOUNGER:

Gregory Hixson (58) 1-2 - -

Ethan Powers (64) 3-1 1 3

Kaden Hafey (75) 0-2 - -

10 AND YOUNGER:

Christopher Moschetti (58) 0-2 - -

Quincy Pfister (58) 1-2 - -

Thomas Baker (58) 3-2 1 4

Devlyn Mosman (61) 2-2 - -

Matthew Moschetti (67) 2-2 2 -

Mikinzie Klimper (80) 2-2 1 -

Dylan Wood (80) 3-2 2 5

Mikey Bingham (85) 5-1 5 3

Deven Mosman (100) 2-1 1 2

Devon Pontine (100) 3-0 2 1

Trenton Shelton (100) 3-1 2 3

12 AND YOUNGER:

Shandon Hadley (76) 3-2 - 4

Heath Peters (76) 3-2 1 5

The minute they stepped into the Sevier Event Center in Richfield, Utah, the Bad Dogs youth wrestling team had something to prove.

Three weeks removed from placing five wrestlers in the Who's Bad? National wrestling tournament in Denver, the Bad Dogs crossed the state border and sent a message.

"The kids who didn't do as well at the Rocky Mountain Nationals came into Utah with a chip on their shoulder," coach Rodney Klimper said. "They wanted to prove that they are better than the competition and that they can wrestle in these national tournaments and do well."

They did.

Ten of the 20 Bad Dogs who made the trip West placed Saturday in the Beehive Brawl national tournament, boosting the team to a third-place overall finish.

For the first time in the eight-year history of the Bad Dogs program, the team placed in the top six in a national event.

"It's impressive that we had 20 kids go and half of them placed," Klimper said. "As long as they've been wrestling and going to national tournaments, for this to be the first time they ever placed as a team, is absolutely amazing.

"It shows how much these kids have improved and gotten better."

The team led the opening ceremony parade into the event center and the ensuing victory total that followed, racking up 39 total wins - 20 by pin.

Devon Pontine, Deven Mosman and Trenton Shelton swept through the 100-pound/10 and under division, giving the top three spots to wrestlers from Craig.

Pontine beat Mosman in the finals, and after a loss in the second round to Mosman, Shelton worked his way to the title in the third-place bracket.

"These kids are wrestling each other every day that we have practice," Klimper said. "To have three of them in a bracket and they place in the top three, shows that our kids, by wrestling each other, have gotten so much better than anybody else."

Mikey Bingham (10U - 85) lost in the quarterfinals but pinned his way to a 5-1 record and third-place overall finish.

Ethan Powers (8U - 64) won three matches to claim a bronze, as well.

Thomas Baker (10U - 58), Shandon Hadley (12U - 76) and Jake Shelton (6U - 55) worked their way to fourth-place finishes.

Dylon Wood (10 - U) and Heath Peters (12U - 76) finished fifth.

"The conditioning and the heart that these kids have - to go through all the rigorous practices - is paying off," Klimper said.

"We wrestled hard this week, and it built their confidence so much that they are ready and waiting to get to the next tournament."

The team won't have to wait long.

Next up is a trip South on Feb. 7 to compete in the Tiger Paw Classic in Grand Junction.

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