Bulldogs pin to win at team camp | CraigDailyPress.com

Bulldogs pin to win at team camp

Elwood Shelton

Flattery could mean everything when it’s coming from the mouths of everyone.

Or at least it may have seemed that way for Moffat County High School wrestling coach Roman Gutierrez, who was blanketed with compliments on his team and its wrestlers last Sunday through Thursday at the Oklahoma State University wrestling camp.

“All the other coaches at the camp couldn’t get over how aggressive our style is,” he said. “Even John Smith, one of the OSU coaches complemented us on our style.”

The pin-to-win style and attitude that led the Bulldogs to a state championship was on full display at the OSU team camp, held at the University of Nevada in Reno. The team won all 12 of the duals it wrestled.

The OSU team wrestling camp is similar to other team camps, for any sport. It emphasizes competition over technique drills, but the camp was more than just non-stop wrestling.

“In the morning, the kids would get some instruction from the OSU staff, and in the afternoon we’d wrestle the duals,” Gutierrez said.

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There was a two-week conditioning camp preceeding the team camp, although the Bulldogs didn’t take advantage of it as most of the other teams did.

Of the 12 teams Moffat County faced at the camp, a majority were from California. There were also a good consensus of teams from Colorado.

The Bulldogs defeated last year’s Class 4A state tournament darkhorse, Widefield High School from Colorado Springs, by a team score of 58-16.

The Bulldogs traveled their entire squad to Reno, with 22 Moffat County wrestlers gracing the mats. Senior Mark Hastings was the only wrestler to not make the trip.

Hastings didn’t travel to the team camp after he qualified for the Freestyle and Greco-Roman National Tournament.

The Moffat County coaches believed the camp’s main advantage was the amount of different wrestling styles they saw, from different areas of the country.

“The competition that we went up against was pretty tough, and we hung in there well,” said Ryan Linscum, who wrestled in the 140-pound division last season. “We still have that winning edge from last season, and are letting it carry through to this season.”

The edge which the Bulldogs are carrying from the state championship will most likely place them at the top of the rankings when the season begins in December, and also retain the team’s focus as they work toward a second championship.

“I can see us making state again this year, and with more of a chance for individual state titles,” Linscum said. “We’ve got a real tight-knit group of seniors, about eight of us, who have wrestled through school with each other. So, I see us taking the season head on.”

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