Moffat County at state...
No. 14 Issic Herod (Moffat County, 10-9) vs. No. 3 Neff Malouf (Alameda, 35-7)
No. 14 Brayden Peterson (Moffat County, 26-15) vs. No. 3 Andrew Register (The Classical Academy, 31-5)
No. 6 Jesse Demoor (Moffat County, 35-14) vs. No. 11 Everett Collins (Valley, 24-13)
Craig It’s the final weekend of the 2012-13 wrestling season, and three Moffat County wrestlers are looking to push through their respective brackets at the state championships.
A freshman and two juniors will represent the Bulldogs starting Thursday at the Pepsi Center in Denver, where the Colorado 3A state meet is held. Issic Herod (120 pounds), Brayden Peterson (138 pounds) and Jesse Demoor (182 pounds) all have hopes of placing, but they’ll have their hands full in stacked brackets.
Win or lose, every match will come against an accomplished wrestler from Colorado.
Demoor’s first match is against Valley High School senior Everett Collins, who has posted a 24-13 record this year. The winner likely will face Kory Hudson of Bennett High School, who is 38-4.
Gaudy records like Hudson’s abound in every bracket where a Bulldog will compete. Herod is up against 35-7 Neff Malouff of Alameda, while Peterson will start against Andrew Register, a 31-5 wrestler from The Classical Academy.
But the Bulldogs aren’t worrying about their opponents. They’ve seen plenty of strong competition throughout the year.
“I think that I’ve wrestled just as tough and tougher kids all year, a bunch of them,” Peterson said. “I think if I wrestle the way I wrestle, I’ll be fine. You got to know it’s going to be tough, but you can’t quit.”
Demoor thinks once the field has been narrowed to the best 16 in the state, anyone has a shot in any given match.
“I feel like no matter who you are, you’re as tough as the next guy,” he said. “It’s who wants it more I think.”
The state tournament will almost certainly be more grueling than the regionals, where the Bulldogs had the benefit of byes due to an unfilled bracket. At the state meet, each bracket has 16 wrestlers.
But Peterson wrestled three full-length matches Saturday at regionals and said his conditioning is where it needs to be for state.
Herod, who has come on late in the year, doesn’t expect to be a contender for a state championship at 120 pounds. He plans on enjoying the experience, but that doesn’t mean he’ll be taking it easy.
“My mindset right now is just trying to go there and do as best I can,” Herod said. “I want to try to place, but I don’t think I’m going to get anywhere near first. Freshman year and getting to go to state, that’s a pretty big accomplishment.”
The other two wrestlers also are making their first trips to the state meet, and it’s resulting in some nerves.
“I’m pretty nervous,” Demoor said. “That’s how it is before every match for me. I just got to go in there and coach says one match at a time and that’s what I’m going in with. It’s a new experience.”
Nate Waggenspack can be reached at 875-1795 or firstname.lastname@example.org.