Jesse Demoor wrestles at the Warrior Classic in December. The Moffat County senior took third place in the 182-pound division at the Warrior and will have his first opportunity to wrestle in front of a home crowd this season. MCHS hosts Hayden on Thursday.

Karen Peroulis/courtesy

Jesse Demoor wrestles at the Warrior Classic in December. The Moffat County senior took third place in the 182-pound division at the Warrior and will have his first opportunity to wrestle in front of a home crowd this season. MCHS hosts Hayden on Thursday.

Moffat County wrestling ready for first home contest

With plenty of rest under their belts, Moffat County wrestlers are looking to shake off the rust from their break and get ready for the first home wrestling event of the season.

The Bulldogs returned to practice from winter break and had just a little bit of time to practice before returning to the mats Thursday.

“There’s a shift in what we’re working on now,” head coach Tanner Linsacum said. “We want to knock the rust off a bit. We’re a bit rusty, but we’ll be ready.”

The shift Linsacum referred to is from the first half of the season, when it was about learning and working on techniques and moves. Now, the focus has turned to improving that base and winning matches instead of experimenting.

“Now it’s about pushing toward qualifying for the state tournament,” Linsacum said. “Now, if we’re in a 3-3 match, we’re more likely to push for overtime and go for the win instead of try a move that could win or lose. It’s time to train for regionals and state.”

The key to that success, senior Jesse Demoor said, is staying aggressive and using the moves each wrestler has been working on to good effect.

“The focus is to keep hitting what we’ve been working on, and we’ve got to keep attacking,” he said. “A lot of our guys hang in ties and don’t do anything, and I do it, too. But when we attack, most of the time it’s successful, so we’ve got to keep that in mind.”

The team will have its first chance to see where it stands in 2014 with its first home dual of the season. The Bulldogs host Hayden on Thursday night in the MCHS gym, with their first chance to showcase their skills to a home crowd.

“I love wrestling in Craig,” Demoor said. “With basketball and stuff, they get a ton of home games, and we don’t get that many. So it’s a one-shot opportunity to show what you’re made of and show that it’s your town.”

Linsacum said the team’s focus is simple: Win the dual against the Tigers.

“Hopefully we get the fans out, and having an opponent from just down the road, they have some out here too, and our kids get to experience a lot of energy in here,” he said.

“Our thing is going to be to wrestle for six minutes every time,” he said.

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

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