Bulldogs gear up to be state champs | CraigDailyPress.com

Bulldogs gear up to be state champs

Tom Schafer

The Bulldog wrestlers have been hitting the mat and gearing up for the season. After finishing third in the state last year, the team is focused and dedicated to bringing home a state championship this season.

“We have a young team,” Coach Ron Linsacum said. ” But, these kids are hard workers and want to win state this year.”

Wrestling on the Western Slope is hotter than ever. The wrestlers start at a young age and when they get into high school, they are experienced and understand the fundamentals of the sport. Despite the years of hard work and dedication coming from the team, the front range schools turn out quality wrestlers who make taking a state championship win a serious challenge, Linsacum said.

To achieve their goal of winning the title, the Bulldogs need to make some improvements over last year’s showing in Denver, Linsacum said.

“The kids need to stay in the tournament longer,” he said. “They must learn to come better off the bottom and score more points.”

The Dogs will face strong teams like Rifle, Palisade and Montrose in their own league, and then will face off against the state champions Canon City and second place Alamosa, Linsacum said.

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The Bulldogs main strength is having a wrestler in every weight class from 103-215 pounds, Linsacum said.

“The weight classes from 103-112 and 119-125 are experienced and two deep,” he said. “Our biggest strength and most experienced wrestlers with mat-time is between the weight classes 130-135 and 140-145, and there we are three deep. In the other weight classes 152-161, 171-189 and 215 and over, we have at least one experienced wrestler.”

Linsacum said that the Bulldogs have one weakness.

“We don’t have one individual on the team who is willing to step up and take the leadership role on this team,” Linsacum said. “I hope someone does it soon.”

Although the team has been practicing for a few weeks, it is undecided who will wrestle in the teams first dual. Each week, before a wrestling match, the team has a wrestle-off and the winners in their weight classes will wrestle that week, Linsacum said.

With the high school team on track already this season, the middle school team is close behind.

“The Middle School program is doing a great job feeding the high school with good wrestlers. II would like to thank Don Goffey, Dean of the School, and coach Burkie Wynkoop for a great job,” Linsacum said.

The Bulldogs will open their season, Nov. 30, at Union.

The varsity Bulldogs have their home season opener, Dec. 1. against Elizabeth at the Moffat County High School gym.

The junior varsity will travel to the Steamboat Tournament, Saturday, Dec. 2.

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