If the middle school wrestling season was any indicator of what’s to come, Moffat County High School’s wrestling team has lots to look forward to.
Three Craig Middle School wrestlers are headed to the Rocky Mountain Nationals Colorado Middle School State meet this weekend in Denver for the final competition of the year. But the three of them don’t tell the whole story of what the CMS boys did this season.
The Bulldogs went undefeated in the short middle school season on the Western Slope and were dominant.
The team started its season with a win in Hayden and followed it up with wins in Steamboat and Soroco. Each time, the Bulldogs won in impressive fashion. The Soroco meet, which doubled as a Western Slope District meet, had seven CMS wrestlers win their weights. In Steamboat, they won by more than 100 points as a team.
“Maturity has a lot to do with” their success, coach Tanner Linsacum said about the wrestlers’ consistent performances. “We had a lot of eighth-graders, and we had some big kids that really understand the sport. When you have kids at 140 to 145 pounds who understand the sport, they’re tough.”
But while the team had plenty of eighth-grade wrestlers, giving them an advantage against younger wrestlers, work ethic was a major factor in their success, as well.
“The group worked their butt off this year,” Linsacum said. “They loved to come to practice, loved to wrestle. I’m really excited to have them coming up next year.”
Middle school wrestling has two options at the end of the season, and Craig’s group split up for their regional tournaments. One group went to Meeker to wrestle in the regional there — the final meet of the season — while others chose to take on the Rocky Mountain Nationals regional in Grand Junction for a shot at RMN state.
With good wrestlers headed to both tournaments, Craig didn’t dominate across the board as it had for most of the season. But both teams still managed fourth-place finishes with small rosters.
“In Meeker we had nine kids, we were the smallest team there and still managed to take fourth,” Linsacum said. “It was good for those kids. It was a good tournament.”
In Grand Junction, Miki Klimper won a regional title at 145 pounds, while Drake Zimmerman and Chris Moschetti both qualified for state in third.
“The kids themselves, they like to work. They like to be pushed,” Linsacum said. “The support we’ve had has been awesome, too. I’m glad they’re getting a little recognition for what they did this year.”
Contact Nate Waggenspack at 970-875-1795 or firstname.lastname@example.org.