Although the Moffat County High School varsity wrestling team didn’t take first overall during the June 16 to 20 wrestling camp in Gunnison, head coach Roman Gutierrez considered the camp a complete success for one reason.
“They got a lot of really good experience,” he said. “The kids got to see a lot of matches and they’re probably a little sore.”
Overall, the MCHS team, which featured 11 wrestlers, went 9-7 in duals during the four-day camp.
Several wrestlers had standout performances, Gutierrez said.
“We had a couple guys do really well,” he said. “(Seniors) Cody Nelson and Charlie Griffiths both went undefeated.
“Cody went 16-0, Charlie went 17-0 and only had three points scored on him in the whole tournament. He wrestled really well — really aggressive.”
But, one of the most positive things to come from the camp was the continued progress the younger wrestlers made, Gutierrez said.
“Most kids got in 15, 16 or 17 matches,” he said. “Our younger kids are still a little inexperienced, but we just have to keep building.”
If MCHS wants to be successful, it will need to lean on its seniors, Gutierrez said.
“Our focus for the seniors is to let them lead us,” he said. “The four seniors wrestled pretty well.
“Cody Adams won nine matches, and Ben (Winslow) won 12.”
Several underclassmen had strong performances, too, Gutierrez said, with sophomore Garrett Stewart winning eight matches, freshman Brayden Peterson winning nine matches and sophomore Dru Nielson winning six.
Incoming eighth-grader Ashlee Griffiths won six matches as well.
The camp also provided Gutierrez with a preview for the upcoming season.
“It doesn’t look too bad if we can keep them separated,” he said. “We’ll have some kids jump weights, and I think we’ll have a hole from 112s to 119s.
“The kids we took to camp are pretty close to who will make up most of our varsity team.”
Gutierrez said there is a solid core coming through the ranks for the Bulldogs, who could combine with the seniors for a strong year.
“We have four or five good, solid kids,” he said. “If we can just get some good mileage in the first part of the season, (this year) won’t shape up too bad.”
With the upper- and underclassmen coming together, Gutierrez said he sees good things ahead for Moffat County.
“In the last three or four years, we’ve seen the future slowly start to get better,” he said. “It will take a little bit longer, but I’m looking forward for this season to begin.”