Deven Mosman came into the Craig Middle School wrestling season weighing about 130 pounds.
Mosman, a CMS seventh-grader, could have stayed at 130 pounds and done well, but he had a different agenda.
“I went down to 120 pounds because there was a kid I wanted to wrestle,” he said. “A Cedar Ridge wrestler beat me before and I wanted to wrestle him again, so I had to go down a weight.”
Mosman’s risk paid off Saturday at the Colorado Middle School regional tournament, where he pinned his foe en route to a second-place finish and a spot in the state tournament.
Mosman was one of 16 Bulldog wrestlers to place at the regional tournament in Fruita and advance to state, which takes place Friday and Saturday at the Denver Coliseum.
All the individual success helped CMS take first place as a team, beating out Meeker by seven points.
“No one would expect teams from Craig and Meeker to place at the top at a big meet like regionals,” coach Shane Hadley said. “We had a good group of kids who are good kids first and good wrestlers after. They all work really hard and deserved their accomplishments.”
Eighth-grader Shandon Hadley was the lone Bulldog grappler to take first and fellow eighth-graders Brett Loyd and Stelios Peroulis took second place in their weight classes.
Loyd said his work from his feet was what earned him a trip to the state tournament.
“When we are neutral, I have a pretty strong double leg,” he said. “My goal at state is to take first and I am going to have to work hard for that. Last year I didn’t place, but I am stronger this year.”
The Bulldogs success at the regional tournament came on the heels of a successful regular season.
The CMS varsity squad took first place as a team at every tournament the Bulldogs competed in this season.
Before regionals, Shandon and fellow eighth-grader Garrett Uptain each won a second consecutive district championship.
Mosman, eighth-grader Ed Guevara and seventh-grader Colton Hall also won district championships.
Shane, Shandon’s father as well as his coach, said his son has been a leader for the Bulldogs this season, a year in which he has gone 25-0.
“Shandon, as well as a lot of the eighth graders, really stepped up this year and helped lead the team and got everyone excited,” Shane said. “He is always in the weight room and he runs from our home to the school, so he is always working extra hard.”
Mosman may have accomplished one goal by beating his Cedar Ridge rival, but he said his ultimate goal is a state title.
“My head wasn’t in my championship match at regionals and I didn’t concentrate on my opponent, which is why I lost,” he said. “This weekend, I am going to have to be faster and I am just going to give it my all to win.”