With the first day of the 2017 CHSAA Wrestling State Championships done, teams across the state have taken quick victories, hard-fought losses and everything in between, and Moffat County High School was no exception.
After the opening round Thursday, MCHS stands in eighth place among 3A teams with four grapplers still in contention to capture a state title.
Of the eight athletes to make it to the Pepsi Center, half took a win to start the tournament, Daniel Caddy at 113 pounds, Miki Klimper (170), Elias Peroulis (182) and Hugo Hernandez (195).
Caddy had the first Bulldog win of the day, working his way to a 5-1 decision over Sterling’s Zach Loft, while later in the day, Peroulis also showed his stamina against John Campisi of Faith Christian, picking up an extra point for the team tally thanks to the 16-8 major decision.
Klimper, the 3A Region 1 champion at his weight, had the first Moffat County pin, claiming a fall against Platte Valley’s Wyatt Reisener midway through the second period.
Not to be outdone, Hernandez had Alamosa’s Zendon Bernal on his back with 42 seconds to spare in the first period to gain four points.
The first day was rougher for other Dogs, some of whom were matched with daunting competition.
In the first MCHS entry, Karson Cox met a fellow Western Slope athlete at 106 and found himself on the wrong side of an 11-4 score against Eagle Valley’s Luke Morrissey, while 120’s Chris Moschetti battled with Eaton’s Hayden Gavette, ending with a 9-2 loss.
At 152, Drake Zimmerman met with Jimmy Laconte, of Weld Central, who was 40-2 headed into the bout, putting up a fight before falling to become Laconte’s 41st win.
The last match was 220’s Toryn Hume, who gained an early lead against Resurrection Christian’s Ryan Hecker, only for some faulty positioning in the final period to give it to Hecker at 10-6.
Moffat County coaches Tanner Linsacum, Mark Zimmerman, Mark Voloshin and Daniel Cramblett alternated duties in athletes’ corner, giving advice and watching the action unfold.
Cramblett said now is the time for wrestlers to dig deep and hold back nothing.
“This is when we want them at their best form,” he said.
Friday promises to be no less exciting for the team, whether in the championship or consolation bracket.
Now 21-8, Peroulis is scheduled to face La Junta’s William Tyler, highly ranked in the tourney with a 29-7 record.
Peroulis said he expects a good challenge, but win or lose, making it to state has been an experience in itself.
“It’s amazing,” he grinned.
Contact Andy Bockelman at 970-875-1793 or abockelman@CraigDailyPress.com or follow him on Twitter @CDP_Sports.