Hugo Hernandez, back left, does wrestling drills on teammate Shandon Hadley at practice Friday. Hernandez is part of a large entering freshman class that brings added depth to Moffat County wrestling for the 2013-14 season. The Bulldogs also return state qualifiers Issic Herod, Brayden Peterson and Jesse Demoor.

Photo by Nate Waggenspack

Hugo Hernandez, back left, does wrestling drills on teammate Shandon Hadley at practice Friday. Hernandez is part of a large entering freshman class that brings added depth to Moffat County wrestling for the 2013-14 season. The Bulldogs also return state qualifiers Issic Herod, Brayden Peterson and Jesse Demoor.

Big team means high hopes for Moffat County wrestling

2013-14 wrestling schedule

Dec. 7 at Mesa Duals in Grand Junction

Dec. 12 at Grand Valley in Parachute

Dec. 14 at Grand Junction Duals

Dec. 17 at Steamboat Springs

Dec. 20 and 21 at Warrior Classic in Grand Junction

Jan. 9 vs. Hayden at MCHS

Jan. 11 at Eagle Valley in Gypsum

Jan. 17-18 at Green River Duals in Green River, Wyo.

Jan. 23 at Delta

Jan. 25 at Rifle

Jan. 28 vs. Meeker at MCHS

Jan. 30 at Grand Valley in Parachute

Feb. 7 vs. Battle Mountain and Coal Ridge at MCHS

— Tons of new faces grace the Moffat County wrestling roster for 2013-14, a change that most senior Bulldogs are excited about.

A new coach and a big group of new underclassmen changes the outlook for Moffat County this season, as they look forward to a new year.

The Bulldogs return all three of their state qualifiers from last year’s team, including seniors Brayden Peterson and Jesse Demoor, who have big plans for this year.

“I want to be a state champion,” Demoor said. “I was seventh last year and was one win away from placing, so that’s what I’m thinking.”

Sophomore Issic Herod also is back after a state-qualifying season, and with the bigger team, the seniors have higher hopes for Moffat County as a team, as well.

“It’s going to help a lot of guys because we’ll have kids fighting for varsity spots,” Peterson said. “It was a little embarrassing, honestly, having a home meet last year and having six guys wrestling against a full team on the other side.”

While wrestlers compete individually, teams are scored at meets based on how each wrestler does in a weight division. Moffat County often surrendered points because of open weights.

That shouldn’t be an issue this year, with more than 30 wrestlers out because of an influx of freshmen and sophomores on the team.

“When you see one of the guys win, it gets you pumped up,” Demoor said. “When I see Brayden out there ahead by six points and the third period ends, I’m excited.”

To accomplish their goals, the Bulldogs will need contributions from some young wrestlers, and new head coach Tanner Linsacum is excited for the team’s possibilities.

“They’re hard-working kids,” Linsacum said about the team he’s seen so far. “Every one of them has been at practice working their butt off. We’ve done some morning practices and days with two practices, and they’re all there. Skill and success will follow that work ethic. With the kind of work ethic they have, I think we’re going to get there.”

Linsacum said with everyone on the team, he has started from square one this season and building from the fundamentals of wrestling up. He hopes that with hard work on those basics, Moffat County will become a feared name in wrestling in Colorado.

“I want to personally be one of the best teams in the northwest area and be known across the state as a tough team,” he said.

Peterson is encouraged for the season to come, where he plans on being a state contender, and thinks the Bulldogs can be a team to be reckoned with all year.

“Individually, we want to go big, but I want our team to be at least top three in the region this year,” he said. “I think it’s doable, definitely if we keep working like we have been. Everybody’s pretty excited right now.”

Nate Waggenspack can be reached at 970-875-1795 or nwaggenspack@CraigDailyPress.com.

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