Bad Dogs claim 1st title at national tournament |

Bad Dogs claim 1st title at national tournament

Ben Bulkeley
The Bad Dogs youth wrestling team won its first national tournament Jan. 23 at the Beehive Brawl in Richfield, Utah. Of the 38 wrestlers at the tournament, 19 placed, helping the Bad Dogs claim their first national title in the team's 10-year history. Shawn McHugh

Trailing 6-0 in a national tournament bout is nothing for 10-year-old wrestler Deven Mosman.

The Craig Bad Dogs youth grappler found himself in such a situation during the Jan. 23 Beehive Brawl national wrestling tournament in Richfield, Utah.

Then Deven decided to take action.

"My dad was encouraging me, telling me to keep doing what I was doing," he said.

Bolstered by the support, Deven was able to slip-up his opponent.

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"I caught him a move called the twister," he said.

That win was just one for Mosman, who won the 10 and under division for the Bad Dogs, helping propel the team to its first national title in its 10-year existence.

Of the 38 wrestlers brought to the Beehive Brawl, 19 placed.

Coach Billy Bingham, who has been with the Bad Dogs since their inception, said the Bad Dogs worked for their first-place hardware.

"It was good," he said. "But what it shows is, we took 38 kids down there, so it takes a whole group effort. The coaches and parents we have and the time these kids put in is huge."

The team's previous best at a national tournament was a third-place finish at last year's Beehive Brawl.

Bingham said the jump from third to first was because of the continued progress of his wrestlers.

"A lot of the kids who are 10 and 12 have been with us now since they were 3 and 4," he said. "Now, they are coming in, and they have hundreds of matches under their belts, and they've been there before. The repetition, the mat time, it's huge. They travel, they go to all the tournaments, and it shows."

Deven, who finished with a record of 6-0 with six pins, said he was happy he faced tough opponents on his way to first place.

"It really feels good," he said. "Because our team worked as hard as we did during practice and we earned our way to first place. To hear that we took first place is just a really good accomplishment."

Grappler Mikinzie Klimper, 10, had a third-place finish at the Beehive Brawl.

He said he was happy to be a part of the first Bad Dogs team to take home a national trophy.

"It's awesome because we've never won one before," he said. "And because we have one now and we all earned it."

Ethan Powers, 9, also picked up a third-place finish.

Wrestling in the 70-pound weight class, Ethan said he was stacked up against some of the toughest competition he has faced all year.

"It was good because I only lost one match," he said. "I lost to a kid who was really hard. There's a team from Payson (Utah), and they are really hard to beat."

The way other teams perceive the Bad Dogs shouldn't change now that the team can claim a national title, Bingham said.

"They were gunning for us before we won it," he said. "We are really well known throughout the state of Colorado."

Mikinzie agreed, saying the Bad Dogs have always had a target on their backs.

"It's because they have seen us all over Colorado," he said. "They think we're the toughest team."

Ben Bulkeley can be reached at 875-1795 or

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