Nate Waggenspack: Good luck to Moffat County wrestling at regionals

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Nate Waggenspack

At the time of this writing Friday’s regional wrestling hasn’t begun yet. But Moffat County is down in Granby with a chance to do something special, and I want to wish them good luck in the best way I can.

Entering the Region 1 tournament, six Bulldogs wrestlers were seeded among the top three in their brackets, meaning each of them have at least a decent shot at winning their weight.

That concept of a regional champion is pretty cool. There aren’t many people or teams who can pull it off. It takes the right combination of motivation, preparation and skill coming together at the right time, and then success at that level is possible.

That’s what is in front of the Moffat County wrestlers this weekend. The fact that they are even in the conversation for winning at the region speaks to the work they’ve put in at practice and their savvy on the mats this season.

That’s been clear at every wrestling function I’ve been to this season. At every practice, it’s a group of guys who get along well, laughing while they wait for practice to get going. Then, it’s down to business. At every dual, they hang on to every takedown during their teammates’ matches and cheer loudest of all when there’s a pin. When they’re on the mat, there is no give-up in any of them. Home duals have been among my favorite events to attend since I came to Craig because of that.

It became clear quickly after I moved here the place wrestling holds in the hearts and minds of Moffat County sports fans because of the incredible success the school has enjoyed in the past. I’ve heard from all sorts of people passionate since I moved here about wrestling, either because they were a part of some fantastic Moffat County teams or because they were there to watch them, and it sounds like the early 2000s, mid 90s and mid 80s were a great time to cheer on the Bulldogs.

But 2014 is a pretty good time in its own right. This edition of Moffat County wrestling wouldn’t compete in a dual with the past state-champion teams, but it’s got a strong group going.

The best part about this team? Of the six guys seeded in the top three, two are seniors, three are sophomores and one is a freshman. Most of the rest of the guys wrestling for the team Friday and Saturday are underclassmen as well.

You have to build into a great team, and regional weekend will be a mark of where this team is and what it needs to do to match the glory days I hear so much about. If there are a couple regional champions in the mix this weekend, it will show how far this group has already come.

Nate Waggenspack barely watched any wrestling before coming to Craig and now he can’t get enough. Contact him at 970-875-1795 or nwaggenspack@craigdailypress.com.

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