At a glance ...
MCHS wrestlers records at camp:
Ashlee Griffiths — 14-4
Owen Nichols — 7-10
Brayden Peterson — 17-1
Garrett Stewart — 21-2
Brady Springer — 6-10
Jesse Demoor — 15-4
“You just have to keep working out and keep your conditioning up. It takes two weeks to get into shape and less than a week to get out of shape. There really isn’t an off season, you’ve got to keep going in the off season.”
—Garrett Stewart, incoming MCHS senior, about turning summer wrestling success into success during the high school season
No big schools could intimidate Moffat County High School wrestlers at a camp last month.
The camp, which lasted from June 15-19 at Western State College in Gunnison, featured 30 schools from Colorado, Arizona, Kansas and Texas.
Unlike camps for other sports where fundamentals and technique are stressed more than playing games, wrestling in matches was the focus at Western State.
Incoming senior Garrett Stewart said that is the best way to improve.
“(A match) gives you a better look. Doing technique, kids like to slack off or take it easy so it doesn’t do as much for you,” Stewart said. “In a match you can’t do that, you have to go all out or you could get yourself hurt or lose.”
Stewart, a qualifier for the state tournament last year, went 21-2 in his individual matches in the 145-pound weight class. He typically wrestles at 138 pounds, so doing well a class up gave him confidence after being beaten up at this camp in the past.
“Camp went a lot better, it felt good to be one of those kids that was able to beat almost every one of his opponents,” Stewart said.
MCHS wrestling coach Roman Gutierrez was impressed with his team’s performance during the week.
“The kids individually wrestled pretty well. Garrett, when he lost, those were the kind of matches I like to see because they were just hard-nosed wrestling,” Gutierrez said. “I like to see them all have matches like that where they’re just dog-tired after the third period.
“With some of the kids who struggled a bit more, we just have to get them more mat time. But I feel good about what they did.”
Incoming sophomore Ashlee Griffiths, who went 14-4 in her matches, said the camp was competitive but she was pleased with how she wrestled.
“It went pretty good but I could have done better,” she said. “I didn’t drop weight all week, so that makes a big difference, wrestling people in higher weight classes.”
Griffiths said the camp is a good opportunity to wrestle against top competition because of some of the large schools in attendance.
“There’s some huge teams, there’s some that bring a full JV and a varsity, and others that are so small they have to combine with others,” Griffiths said. “It’s tougher going against the bigger schools because you have a lot more competition, and usually the kids are better on bigger teams because of all the choices they have to pick from.”
With just six wrestlers at the camp, MCHS picked up two wrestlers from Texas and two from Pueblo South High School so it could field wrestlers in more weight classes for duals. Even against much larger opponents, Griffiths said she thought the Bulldogs did well.
“We did really good. We got ninth overall that’s really good,” Griffiths said. “We got 13th I think last year, so that’s a big step up.”
Still with several months until the high school season starts, Stewart said he and his teammates have to keep on working hard to have their success at camp carry over to the winter.
“You just have to keep working out and keep your conditioning up,” he said. “It takes two weeks to get into shape and less than a week to get out of shape. There really isn’t an off season, you’ve got to keep going in the off season.”
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