Craig For most of the year, Cody Pleasant and his Craig Bad Dog youth wrestling teammates have had to travel long distances for tournaments.
The team won a national tournament in Utah, competed in Las Vegas and has made several trips to Denver and the Front Range.
Wrestling at home Saturday was a nice change, Pleasant said.
“It’s fun because Friday, we roll out all the mats and play in the halls,” he said. “We just get to mess around and have fun.
“And we don’t have to get up early and drive.”
The Bad Dogs hosted more than 300 young wrestlers during the fourth annual Bad Dogs Wrestling Classic at Moffat County High School.
Pleasant was able to pick up a sixth-place finish, but received an even more important piece of hardware.
“I was given the sportsmanship award after my last match,” he said.
His last match was with Triple Crown winner and Saturday champion Deven Mosman.
Mosman, who has won three national tournaments this season, said he was able to relax on his home mat.
“It’s different, because it’s not like you have to win,” he said. “I like to win, but I’m calmer when I wrestle here — I’m not aggressive like I always am.”
Mikey Bingham was able to pin all of his opponents to finish first in his weight-class.
“It was a good day,” Bingham said. “In my first match, I got him in the cow catcher, my second match I got him in the cradle.
“In my third, fourth and fifth matches, I pinned them with the cow catcher.”
Bingham said he was well rested for the Bad Dogs second home tournament of the year.
“We get to sleep in,” he said. “We’re not tired because we didn’t have to get up early and drive somewhere.
“We get to sleep until it’s time to wrestle.”
It didn’t matter what time Shandon Hadley wrestled because the results were all the same.
Hadley won all of his matches, and said he gained momentum as the tournament progressed.
In his last match, he was able to hook up the Sander’s Cradle, a move which he said he had been working on, to pin his opponent.
Although he wasn’t showing off, Hadley said he wanted to give the home crowd something to cheer for.
“It was pretty cool,” he said. “Because I was able to do some of the better moves I have under my belt.”
Mikinzie Klimper also was able to finish first in front of a home crowd.
“It was a good day,” he said. “I got to try a lot of different moves.”
Klimper said being at home meant he could relax a little, but not enough to get pinned by a visitor.
“It’s different (wrestling at home) because this is your tournament,” he said. “These are your mats.”
Because the Bad Dogs have more than 70 wrestlers competing, the entire team rarely travels.
Being at home changed that too, Klimper said.
“It’s nice because everyone on the team gets to wrestle,” he said. “It’s not just a few kids.”