Brayden Peterson wrestles in Craig earlier this season. The senior 138-pound wrestler for Moffat County won three matches Friday and Saturday, including an 11-3 victory against Cedaredge's Austin Todd to claim the 3A Region 1 championship at Middle Park High School.

Photo by Nate Waggenspack

Brayden Peterson wrestles in Craig earlier this season. The senior 138-pound wrestler for Moffat County won three matches Friday and Saturday, including an 11-3 victory against Cedaredge's Austin Todd to claim the 3A Region 1 championship at Middle Park High School.

Peterson wins regional; Moffat County wrestling sends 6 to state

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Moffat County wrestlers' placement at state

Issik Herod (120 pounds): No. 10

Brayden Peterson (138 pounds): No. 4

Stelios Peroulis (160 pounds): No. 13

Brett Loyd (170 pounds): No. 7

Jesse DeMoor (182 pounds): No. 8

Brady Springer (195 pounds): No. 14

Everything went according to plan for Brayden Peterson at the 3A Region 1 wrestling tournament Saturday.

Peterson knew if he faced second-seeded Cedaredge wrestler Peter Williamson in the 138-pound bracket, he wanted to use his conditioning and technique to win as the match wore on. That’s exactly what happened in the championship match at the regional as, after a scoreless first period, Peterson took over to win, 11-3, and return to Craig as regional champion.

“It feels pretty cool,” Peterson said about the win. “It’s a big deal to get a top-four seed at state. This is the biggest accomplishment of my career of wrestling.”

After giving up a reversal to Williamson early in the second period, Peterson reversed it right back. He took a 4-2 lead and controlled the match the rest of the way, only giving up an escape with less than 20 seconds remaining in the match.

“It was my semifinal match that didn’t go well,” Peterson said. “I think nerves got to me. I didn’t have the energy. I hadn’t eaten anything because I was over weight the night before. I ate a little bit afterward and had lunch later and felt good for the final match.”

Peterson’s win was the highlight of a great day overall for Moffat County at regionals. The Bulldogs had six members qualify for the state tournament, and the squad placed fourth overall at the meet, scoring 121 points.

Sophomore Brett Loyd navigated his way through the 170-pound bracket before being pinned in the championship match. In his first year of high school wrestling, he took second place.

Jesse DeMoor took third place in the 182-pound bracket after losing a wild 17-14 semifinal match to Olathe’s Chayden Harris. In a match in which both wrestlers nearly were pinned several times, DeMoor nearly had an escape late in the match to make it 15-14 but was thrown back down, and Harris earned near-fall points to get the win.

DeMoor responded in the consolation bracket, however, with two pins and a third-place finish.

“It was nuts. I think we had that kid on his back probably four times nearly pinned, the same way against us,” coach Tanner Linsacum said about the semifinal. “But Jesse did a great job. This region kind of knows his style, and he still found a way to get pins on those kids. He set himself up well for next week.”

Issik Herod also took third while fellow sophomores Stelios Peroulis and Brady Springer were fourth, grabbing the final qualifying spots.

Peroulis had to wrestle against some of the best 160-pound competitors in the state in the Western Slope region and lost two matches by a total of three points. Springer was seeded outside the top four going into the tournament but stepped up and had a good day.

“In the third/fourth-place match, he was actually ahead, 9-4, but got caught late in it,” Linsacum said about Springer. “So he was that close to third. He wrestled really well today, and anytime you’ve got a sophomore making the state (tournament), that’s pretty good.”

With two seniors and four sophomores headed to the Pepsi Center next week for the state championships, it was a good weekend for the Bulldogs.

“I’m proud of them for what they accomplished,” Linsacum said. “The ones that reached (state), I don’t take any credit for what they did. They worked for it. Hopefully, they can continue wrestling tough and see what we can do at the state level.”

Contact Nate Waggenspack at 970-875-1795 or nwaggenspack@CraigDailyPress.com.

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