Team results from Friday’s Union Duals in Roosevelt, Utah:
• Moffat 33
• Moffat 27
• Moffat 42
• Moffat 42
• Moffat 37
— MCHS record at the event: 4-1
“Pin to win” is a mantra that is printed on all kinds of wrestling gear and memorabilia.
On Dec. 10 at the Union Duals in Roosevelt, Utah, the mantra became truth for the Moffat County High School wrestling team.
“We had to get pins if we were to win because of our open weights,” MCHS coach Roman Gutierrez said.
The Bulldogs had four empty weights, which yielded 24 points to their opponents before a wrestler stepped on the mat.
Despite the disadvantage, the team brought home the first-place trophy.
“Some of the other teams had open weights, so that helped us,” Gutierrez said. “But, once again, it was mostly on the shoulders of our seniors.”
Senior Charlie Griffiths finished the night undefeated and was named the outstanding wrestler of the competition. The other three seniors — Cody Nelson, Cody Adams and Ben Winslow — earned championship T-shirts.
In the dual against Duchense, Adams and Winslow had to pin for the Bulldogs to win.
They were able to do just that, and MCHS won, 42-41. That win proved to be the difference maker because Duchense shared the same record as the Bulldogs, 4-1, for the night.
MCHS lost to host Union, 48-27, but Union lost two other duals during the night. The Bulldogs tied Vernal, Utah, but won the dual because they had more pins.
Adams said it is fun to have a chance to pin to secure a win for the dual, but he has learned not to focus on it.
“You have to focus on your own match and can’t get caught up in the team stuff too much,” he said. “I’ve been caught up in the team stuff before and it affected my wrestling in a bad way.”
Winslow said he thought some of the underclassmen made some progress from the first tournament of the year.
“They wrestled with heart out there,” he said. “We had some guys fighting sickness and they still laid it out.”
Gutierrez said he saw mixed results from his younger grapplers.
“Yes and no,” he said about improvement. “We are still getting put to our backs too easily.”
Gutierrez is considering taking only a handful of his varsity wrestlers to Friday’s Warrior Classic in Grand Junction.
He said it will be more beneficial for some of his younger guys to go to a smaller tournament, like the one at West Grand High School in Kremmling.
“They will probably get more matches and it could help their confidence a little more,” he said. “Just to fill our team out in Union we moved kids into weights they weren’t accustomed to. So by taking them to Kremmling, they will be able to wrestle more at their natural spot.”