Dual meet scores from the Moffat County High School varsity wrestling team’s performance in the Union Duals on Friday at Union High School in Roosevelt, Utah:
• Moffat County — 30
• North Summit — 28
• Moffat County — 36
• Rangely — 24
• Moffat County — 33
• Uintah — 30
• Moffat County — 15
• Union — 63
— MCHS went 3-1 in the meet
Roman Gutierrez, Moffat County High School’s longtime wrestling coach, understands there’s a steep learning curve involved for his young team this season.
But, going 3-1 at the Union Duals on Friday at Union High School in Roosevelt, Utah, is a good start to acquiring experience necessary to compete at a high level.
The Bulldogs defeated North Summit, Rangely and Uintah before falling to Union in the final match-up, earning a 3-1 mark in the meet.
“I think everyone is starting to try the things we are teaching them in the (wrestling) room,” Gutierrez said. “In the very beginning, we were more or less freelancing because a lot of these kids haven’t wrestled in a few years, but they listen well and are focused, so the more experience they get, the more it will help them to keep improving.”
The Bulldogs scored narrow victories over North Summit (30-28) and Uintah (33-30), but won 36-24 over Rangely.
The more-experienced Union team beat MCHS, 63-15.
Senior Jake Blevins and freshman Ashlee Griffiths finished the tournament with 4-0 records while junior Garrett Stewart and sophomore Jesse Demoor went 3-1.
In the 106-pound weight class, Gutierrez said Griffiths’ hard work in the wrestling room has paid dividends.
Against Union, Griffiths trailed heading into the third period, but used a reversal to better her position and score a 7-4 victory.
“Ashlee wrestles really tough and wins the close matches,” Gutierrez said. “She keeps plugging away in practice and she wants to make things happen for herself.”
As for Stewart and sophomore Brayden Peterson, both of whom Gutierrez expects to be two of the team’s top performers throughout the season, strong competition has led to early losses, but will help come the regional tournament, Gutierrez said.
Peterson finished 1-3 at the Union Duals.
“Both Garrett and Brayden have run into some tough horses,” Gutierrez said. “But, wrestling tough kids helps them see what they have to do and what to expect in the latter part of the season.”
While some of the younger wrestlers like Demoor have made strides early, Gutierrez said there are still growing pains to get past.
“I think we are a little behind in some technique stuff and we just aren’t as aggressive and looking for positioning,” he said. “We haven’t been really aggressive from the bottom and we are giving up pins we shouldn’t be.
“Us coaches just need to keep emphasizing these things in practice and get it across to them so they go out there and get after it.”
The Bulldogs will compete next in the Warrior Classic at 10 a.m Friday and 9 a.m. Saturday at Colorado Mesa University.
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