Moffat County High school wrestler Kolten Wickham, 171 pounds, looks to set up his Meeker opponent on Feb. 3 at MCHS. The Bulldogs lost to Eagle Valley Friday, 48-28, but head coach Roman Gutierrez said his wrestlers made strides in the right direction.

Photo by Joshua Gordon

Moffat County High school wrestler Kolten Wickham, 171 pounds, looks to set up his Meeker opponent on Feb. 3 at MCHS. The Bulldogs lost to Eagle Valley Friday, 48-28, but head coach Roman Gutierrez said his wrestlers made strides in the right direction.

MCHS wrestlers get final tune-up before regional tourney

Individual results from the Moffat County High School varsity wrestling team’s Feb. 4 dual meet against Eagle Valley:

(Name — weight — result)

• Owen Nichols — 103 — L

• Casey Barnes — 119 — L

• Cody Nelson — 125 — W

• Brayden Peterson — 130 — L

• Garrett Stewart — 135 — W

• Kye Adams — 140 — W

• Jake Blevins — 145 — L

• Charlie Griffiths — 152 — W

• Dru Nielson — 160 — W

• Kolten Wickham — 171 — L

• Cody Adams — 189 — L

• Ben Winslow — 215 — L

• Bob Myers — 285 — L

— MCHS lost the meet, 48-28

With everything on the line this weekend for the Moffat County High School wrestling team, the Eagle Valley dual meet Feb. 4 was the perfect primer.

The Bulldogs will compete in the 4A regional tournament Friday and Saturday at Mesa State College in Grand Junction.

Those who place in the top four at the regional tournament will qualify for the state tournament Feb. 17, 18 and 19 in Denver.

While the Bulldogs lost to Eagle Valley, 48-28, head coach Roman Gutierrez said the wrestlers that should have won did just that.

“Besides probably Cody Adams, the guys that were supposed to win tonight pulled it out,” he said. “They did as expected on paper and are coming around right in time for the regional tournament.”

Seniors Cody Nelson (125 pounds), Charlie Griffiths (152 pounds) and Kye Adams (140 pounds) picked up wins as well as sophomores Garrett Stewart (135 pounds) and Dru Nielson (160 pounds).

Gutierrez said Adams, an MCHS senior, got caught in a bad situation in his loss at 189 pounds, but feels he will redeem himself if he wrestles the same opponent at regionals.

MCHS freshman Brayden Peterson (130 pounds) also wrestled well, Gutierrez said, in a last-second loss when his opponent was able to score points at the end of the match.

In the Bulldogs previous dual meet against Meeker, Stewart was caught at the end of the match like Peterson.

Stewart said before his match against Eagle Valley, he mad sure he was ready.

“Before my match, I had a game plan so I knew what I was going to do,” he said. “My goal was to go out, take him down and start working on my cradle.”

In the match, Gutierrez said Stewart showed improvement, including the cradle.

“Garrett wrestled a lot better and smarter Friday than he did against Meeker,” he said. “He got the cradle going, which he wasn’t able to do (Thursday against Meeker).

“(Stewart) really went back to the bread and butter of his technique.”

Stewart said he was happy winning his last match before the regional tournament.

“My shot was good and I put good pressure on the shoulders, which worked out,” he said. “I jumped rope and ran beforehand and got my confidence up.”

Still, Stewart said there are aspects of his technique he wants to fine-tune.

“I really want to work on getting all-around better, physically and mentally,” he said. “Hand control is probably what I will focus on the most because it is important in all parts of wrestling.”

Gutierrez said Stewart, along with Neilson, made good decisions on the mat.

Eagle Valley had a full team, so the Bulldogs were able to get all 13 wrestlers mat time.

While the team had a good showing, Gutierrez said there are things his team still needs to work on.

“When some guys are getting shot on, they need to work on getting their legs back and kicking them back,” he said. “If they can improve on this, they can stop their opponents from getting takedowns.”

The regional tournament will start at 1 p.m. Friday.

Joshua Gordon can be reached at 875-1795 or at joshgordon@craigdailypress.com.

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