Bad Dogs wrestler Laaden Rothermund, 6, overpowers a wrestler from Rifle. At the tournament Saturday in Rifle, which was the last of the season, 12 of the 27 Bad Dogs wrestlers placed first.

Rodney Klimper/Courtesy

Bad Dogs wrestler Laaden Rothermund, 6, overpowers a wrestler from Rifle. At the tournament Saturday in Rifle, which was the last of the season, 12 of the 27 Bad Dogs wrestlers placed first.

Bad Dogs finish strong

Wrestlers wrap up season by dominating in Rifle

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Top finishers for the year

Bad Dogs top finishers for the year

Wrestler,record,pins,number one finishes

• Cody Baker,33-12,21,6

• Thomas Baker,42-16,22,5

• Mikey Bingham,56-9,45,13

• Daniel Caddy,39-5,19,9

• Shandon Hadley,39-11,19,9

• Colton Hall,29-9,9,6

• Gregory Hixson,30-18,11,4

• Mikinzie Klimper,39-21,32,3

• Matthew Moschetti,51-18,25,8

• Deven Mosman,57-18,39,7

• Devlyn Mosman,42-23,13,5

• Dezzee Pfister,29-5,22,7

• Quincy Pfister,30-8,14,4

• Luke Pleasant,36-10,23,4

• Ethan Powers,42-7,23,10

• Jake Shelton,34-16,21,3

• TJ Shelton,58-12,38,11

Total record: 970-527

Top finishers

Bad Dogs top finishers Saturday in Rifle

Wrestler,Record,Pins,Place

• Cody Baker,3-1,0,3rd

• Thomas Baker,3-1,2,3rd

• Mikey Bingham,3-0,3,1st

• Spencer Brown,3-1,1,3rd

• Daniel Caddy,3-0,1,1st

• Daniel Caddy,3-0,1,1st

• Jesus Duarte,2-1,2,2nd

• Shandon Hadley,4-0,2,1st

• Colton Hall,3-0,1,1st

• Isaih Herod,3-0,3,1st

• Gregory Hixson,3-1,2,3rd

• Mikinzie Klimper,3-0,3,1st

• Matthew Moschetti,3-0,0,1st

• Devlyn Mosman,2-1,0,2nd

• Elias Peroulis,2-0,0,1st

• Stelios Peroulis,3-1,0,2nd

• Luke Pleasant,3-0,0,1st

• Luke Pleasant,1-2,0,3rd

• Devon Pontine,4-0,4,1st

• Ethan Powers,4-0,4,1st

• Jake Shelton,2-1,2,2nd

• Jake Shelton,2-1,2,2nd

• TJ Shelton,3-0,2,1st

• TJ Shelton,2-1,1,2nd

• Dagan White,3-1,0,3rd

Total: 84-41

Total pins: 42

Sometimes, a loss can have a more positive impact than a win.

After taking only one first place during the December Palisade Little Dogs Tournament, the Moffat County Bad Dogs youth wrestling team had found new motivation.

Assistant coach Rodney Klimper said members of the team came back from the tournament with every intention of showing how much better they were.

"It was a wake up call," Klimper said. "They went down there, saw the other programs, and said 'Hey, we need to work a little harder.'

"And that's exactly what they did."

The Bad Dogs finished their season Saturday at Rifle in the same fashion they went through the rest of the Northwest League season - 12 of the 27 wrestlers who made the trip took home first-place medals.

In total, the Bad Dogs racked up 84 wins against 41 losses.

The team is made up of wrestlers between the ages of 4 and 12. Some of the wrestlers competed in more than one division.

Klimper said the tournament five months ago in Palisade pushed the wrestlers to get better.

"Afterwards, they started working harder, working smarter," Klimper said. "And it was the kids who were pushing themselves - not the coaches.

"This was a confident team, not afraid to get down and work hard."

Klimper said the Bad Dogs were able to fly under the radar, but after finishing the season by slamming the competition, the wrestlers weren't likely to be underestimated again.

"People will be looking at us and saying, 'We want to be on the other side of the bracket,'" Klimper said. "We proved we belong, and now we need to maintain that elite level. They'll expect the best from us, and that's what we prefer."

Two wrestlers - TJ Shelton and Daniel Caddy - will find it difficult to be underestimated after being named Saturday as two of the Northwest League's most outstanding wrestlers.

Shelton, 10, competes in the 10 and under and 12 and under divisions, where he amassed a record of 58 wins against 12 losses. Caddy, 6, competes in the 6 and under and 8 and under divisions, and he had a record of 39 wins and five losses.

Klimper said the season was ending at the right time.

"The kids were getting tired near the end of the season," Klimper said. "And it was a huge commitment on their part. They wanted to be outside playing, but they did what needed to be done."

The Bad Dogs will return to the mats in October.

Ben Bulkeley can be reached at 875-1795 or bbulkeley@craigdailypress.com.

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