For two years, Moffat County High School senior Kye Adams has been on and off the wrestling mat due to injuries.
His sophomore, year a dislocated knee. Then, a broken back in his junior year sidelined him and to start his senior season, he dislocated his other knee.
Finally, in the last few weeks of his last season as a Bulldogs wrestler, Adams said he feels he is starting to make the strides he has been pushing for his entire high school career.
“I got the feel back after two years off the mat,” he said, “At the right time, I am starting to get back into things.”
Adams scored a technical fall in his 140-pound bout to help lead the Bulldogs over the Hayden Tigers Thursday night, 51-18, in the teams’ dual meet at Hayden High School.
Able to score multiple near falls in the match, Adams said he felt good about the way he wrestled.
“I stayed aggressive during the match,” he said. “I felt good during the whole match.”
Freshman Owen Nichols started the night off for the Bulldogs, winning his 103-pound match, 11-7.
“Going into the match, I felt I could beat him and I thought I would even get a pin,” Nichols said. “Either way, I am glad I walked away with the win.”
Heading into the final round tied at 5-5, Nichols was able to get a reversal on a free move after his opponent was called for locked hands, a three-point swing in Nichols’ favor.
“During the last 10 seconds, I looked at the clock and knew I could do it,” Nichols said. “I had to fight for those 10 seconds to get the win.”
After leading his team off with a victory, Nichols said he felt it was just what his fellow wrestlers needed.
“It is very important to set the tone for the rest of the team,” he said. “I got the first win and it pushed the rest of the team to go out and wrestle hard.”
With the last two weeks of the regular season coming up before the regional tournament in Grand Junction on Feb. 11 and 12, Nichols said he plans to keep pushing himself harder.
“My goal is to work harder in the wrestling room these next few weeks,” he said. “I want to work on perfecting myself.”
Seniors Cody Nelson (125 pounds) and Charlie Griffiths (152 pounds) picked up victories for the Bulldogs, as well.
Five voids by the Tigers also helped MCHS take the victory, but nonetheless, Bulldogs head coach Roman Gutierrez said his team has made some good improvements.
“As a whole, I felt we were more aggressive tonight,” he said. “The guys did a lot more good things this time and put out one of their best efforts.”
As he prepares his team for regional tournament, Gutierrez said he hopes to work on tweaking a few parts of the team’s game plan.
“We need to continue to put effort into all phases, but working from the bottom seems to be the part that needs the most work,” he said. “Hopefully next week the guys can get their legs behind them and keep getting those little gains.”
As he watched his teammates on the mat Thursday, Adams said he didn’t see everyone coming out strong.
“We did good, but a few times guys came out flat,” he said. “Not everyone wrestled with intensity.”
But, using his own match as fuel, Adams has one goal for this season.
“I want to make it to state,” he said.
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