MCHS wrestlers eye Vegas tourney
Moffat County High School varsity wrestling remaining schedule:
• Jan. 7 and 8 — Las Vegas Tournament
• Jan. 14 and 15 — Green River (Wyo.) Tournament
• Jan. 18 — Palisade High School at MCHS
• Jan. 22 — Rifle Tournament
• Jan. 27 — at Hayden High School
• Feb. 3 — Meeker High School at MCHS
• Feb. 4 — at Eagle Valley High School
Injuries and voided weight classes haven’t deterred the Moffat County High School varsity wrestling team, coach Roman Gutierrez said.
In fact, the coach said his wrestlers have been up to the challenge so far this young season.
“The whole team comes in with a goal and is ready to work at achieving it,” Gutierrez said. “They just keep pushing and working hard.”
While the wrestling team has had success as a whole in years past, Gutierrez said this year the wrestlers have more of a chance to focus on individual goals.
After three tournaments to start the season, MCHS seniors Charlie Griffiths and Cody Nelson have shown well.
Griffiths, wrestling in the 152-pound weight class, has finished second, first and fourth in the Mountain Vista Tournament, the Cougar Duals at Union High School and the Warrior Classic, respectively.
And, Nelson has taken home two first-place finishes and a sixth-place finish in the 125-pound weight class.
It is the five senior wrestlers that have helped advance the team this year, Gutierrez said.
“We have received a strong push from our seniors this year,” he said. “They have helped the younger wrestlers on technique and finishing moves.”
Whether it’s due to senior leadership or their own determination, Gutierrez said the Bulldogs’ underclassmen have come to win and improve this season on the mat.
“They are all upbeat and come out to wrestle every day,” he said. “They do everything they can to keep improving.
“The kids aren’t lazy, they don’t complain and they wrestle hard all the time.”
Gutierrez said the team is scheduled to get back on the mat Tuesday after a break for the holidays.
Technique and preparing for the Las Vegas Tournament will be first on the agenda, Gutierrez said.
“We are going to go into January starting fast,” he said. “We build up the conditioning of the wrestlers into February, and then we cool the jets.”
Gutierrez described January practices as the “hardest all season,” focusing on running, how the wrestlers can put themselves in good positions on the mat and technique.
The push in January, Gutierrez said, is to have MCHS wrestlers in top shape and wrestling form when the regional and state tournaments come around at the end of the season.
Although the team has around 20 wrestlers, it can only fill 12 of the 14 weight classes, giving up 12 points every time the Bulldogs compete in a team competition.
“The voids have beaten us up early in the season,” Gutierrez said. “But, we are getting some injured guys back that should help us in the next part of the season.”
With a young squad this year, Gutierrez said he is positive about what is yet to come.
“We are really young this year compared to past years,” he said. “Everyone goes hard and is determined, and that will help us be successful.”