Garrett Stewart, top, a Moffat County High School sophomore, wrestles Coal Ridge High School’s Michael Shaw in round three of the Rumble in the Rockies Dual Team Tournament on Saturday at Rifle High School. The Bulldogs varsity wrestling team went 2-3 in the dual meet.

Photo courtesy of Kelly Cox

Garrett Stewart, top, a Moffat County High School sophomore, wrestles Coal Ridge High School’s Michael Shaw in round three of the Rumble in the Rockies Dual Team Tournament on Saturday at Rifle High School. The Bulldogs varsity wrestling team went 2-3 in the dual meet.

MCHS sophomore shows improvement at latest wrestling tourney

Bulldogs trip to Rifle tournament yields standout performances

Team wrestling results from Saturday’s Rumble in the Rockies Dual Team Tournament:

• MCHS 45, Pueblo West 36

• Rifle 43, MCHS 30

• Coal Ridge 47, MCHS 30

• MCHS 54, Soroco 7

• Hotckiss 48, MCHS 34

— MCHS went 2-3 at the event

Individual MCHS results from Saturday’s Rumble in the Rockies Dual Team Tournament:

(Name — weight — record)

• Owen Nichols — 103 — 3-2

• Cody Nelson — 125 — 5-0

• Brayden Peterson — 130 — 2-3

• Garrett Stewart — 135 — 4-1

• Kye Adams — 140 — 2-3

• Jake Blevins — 145 — 2-3

• Charlie Griffiths — 152 — 5-0

• Kolten Wickham — 171 — 1-4

• Cody Adams — 189 — 4-1

• Ben Winslow — 215 — 4-1

• Bob Myers — 285 — 2-3

When 2008 Moffat County High School graduate Matt Kincheloe left MCHS, he probably never expected to win a wrestling match for the Bulldogs again.

In a way, that is what Kincheloe, a state placer for the Bulldogs, did when he helped current sophomore Garrett Stewart in the wrestling room.

Heading into his fifth match in the Rumble in the Rockies Dual Team Tournament on Saturday at Rifle High School, Stewart was tired and worn out.

His last match, as Stewart described it, was sluggish.

Although he lost his final match of the tournament, Stewart finished with a 4-1 record and was happy with the way he wrestled, in large part thanks to Kincheloe, he said.

“My stand ups got a lot better because of Kincheloe,” Stewart said. “I could have wrestled better, but I think I did a lot better than the previous week.”

Still, Stewart hopes to improve on other aspects of his wrestling skills.

“I need to still work on my shots, setting up and finishing them,” he said. “I think there is always room for improvement.

The Bulldogs went 2-3 in the dual meet tournament, led by seniors Cody Nelson (125 pounds) and Charlie Griffiths (152 pounds), who both went 5-0.

Along with Stewart, seniors Cody Adams and Ben Winslow also went 4-1 on Saturday.

Head coach Roman Gutierrez said Stewart is starting to make the right strides on the mat.

“Garrett is starting to jump ahead of the game,” Gutierrez said. “He is wrestling better than he did against Palisade and made one of the biggest improvements this weekend.”

Freshman Brayden Peterson, who went 2-3, also showed improvement, Gutierrez said, fixing mistakes that he had made in previous matches.

“In the first couple of matches, Brayden did some things wrong that cost him the match,” he said. “He learned to build on that and then came out and won another match and showed the growth.”

With sophomore Dru Nielson and freshman Casey Barnes unable to attend the tournament, Gutierrez said his main goal is getting his team to attend and be healthy at meets.

“We made little gains here and there in our technique,” he said. “We have been missing kids due to sickness, so we need to get healthy and take the next step in each of the wrestlers’ performances.”

In the Bulldogs first match-up, they took on Pueblo West, and won, 45-36.

Gutierrez said the wrestlers who win are consistently doing so, but the ones who aren’t faring as well need to tweak a few things.

“Griffiths wrestled a good kid and wrestled him well,” the coach said. “Guys like Charlie who are consistently winning are wrestling smart and the others just need to work on getting to that point.”

One of the main problems for many of his wrestlers, Gutierrez said, was working from the bottom.

“We have had trouble working up and getting escapes,” he said. “We need to work on the timing and the effort of getting our hands in the right position to get an escape.”

Still, Gutierrez said the team continues to improve.

“There is constant growth and the guys are making less mistakes than they have in the past,” he said. “They aren’t really any huge gains, but they are making gains every week.

“They have to keep focus and improve and we should be in good shape in the weeks leading up to the regional and state tournaments.”

The Bulldogs will wrestle next at 6 p.m. Thursday in Hayden.

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