Craig The Moffat County High School wrestling team begins its season under different circumstances than it has in the past 31 years.
Roman Gutierrez, the team’s coach since well before I was alive, has been replaced this season. Gutierrez guided the Bulldogs to several team state championships and has had many individual state champions, as well, during his time at the helm of the team, but now, he is done as Moffat County’s head coach.
It has been a strange time since I found out Gutierrez would not be the coach. I’ve been contacted by several people who didn’t want to tell me their name and then told stories about what’s going on. I’ve heard rumors that are for and against Gutierrez and haven’t been able to verify any of them.
The Moffat County athletic department said it is a personnel matter that won’t be discussed. No surprise there.
This has been frustrating for me, as I’m sure it has for many others. With all the stories I’ve heard, many are floating around and probably being believed. It would be nice to have a firm reason from those involved because I enjoy closure.
I don’t want to speak for other people, but if I were an athlete and my coach was gone, I’d like to know why.
But those answers may not be coming, and what’s more important right now is the approaching wrestling season.
Without Gutierrez, the Bulldogs still will head to Grand Junction for the Mesa Duals on Dec. 7, and they’ll attend every other meet after that. They’ll still be competing, three times at home meets in Craig, and they still will need the support of the community.
The athletes have nothing to do with the coaching situation and deserve a fun season no matter what. Regardless of our personal feelings about what has happened in this wrestling preseason, the wrestlers should be priority No. 1.
Several athletes will have an excellent shot at making deep runs in the state tournament, and from everyone I’ve spoken to, new coach Tanner Linsacum will be a great leader.
It’s okay to keep searching for answers, but it’s even more important to keep cheering on the Bulldogs wrestling team.
Nate Waggenspack can be reached at 970-875-1795 or nwaggenspack@CraigDailyPress.com.