Back to the mat: Q&A with Moffat County wrestling coach Dennis Fredrickson
This week, Moffat County High School filled the head wrestling coach position with longtime Craig resident Dennis Fredrickson.
Fredrickson will replace Tanner Linsacum, who resigned from his position after four years as an MCHS coach and teacher to move with his family to Arizona. Fredrickson will take on the head coach job for the high school level, though administrators with Craig Middle School, which Linsacum also headed, are still working out the details of their program.
Though the job is new, Fredrickson has decades of experience with the sport in Northwest Colorado, and the Craig Daily Press met with him to discuss his plans for the program.
What drew you to the job?
I’ve been working with the kids in Moffat County for a long time, for over 20 years, and I know most of the kids on the high school team real well. I worked with Bad Dogs and the youth program years ago, and I helped with the junior high and high school with my own kids, Cody and Eric.
Where did you first get involved with wrestling?
I went to school in Soroco, Oak Creek. I have a lot of ties up and down the Yampa Valley, in fact, both Hayden and Soroco’s coaches I’ve coached at one time.
Any big plans for the program so far with athletes and staff?
We have quite a few seniors, so we’ll try not to change too much because we want to adapt some of our new in with the old, so they’re not starting over. We don’t want a rebuilding year, we want this to be a good year for everybody. It’s not all settled yet, but there’s a new teacher coming into town who has college experience in wrestling that would like to be one of the assistants, and since I’m not a teacher, I’d like to have that contact with the school, and that’s very promising. I have been talking to Mark Zimmerman quite a bit since he was attached and has kids involved, and we may have a couple more people involved on a volunteer basis, so we’ll see where everything breaks down.
Has there been any friction between those involved with the Bad Dogs and Moffat County Youth Wrestling teams?
My whole goal with the team is to get all the groups together. We don’t need two youth groups, and I’d like to see them get together and work together, maybe have one as an introduction and the other as an extension and try to get them all on the same page. Then we could take that to the junior high level and move that into the high school. One comprehensive program.
How do you feel the high school program was doing under its previous leadership?
I think it’s coming along pretty good, and it’s a tribute to everybody at Bad Dogs and Youth Wrestling and the junior high program and everything. Seems like parents kind of make the team, and the coach kind of goes along with it. That’s where we’re at right now. The parents and wrestlers encouraged me to get involved, and they’ve all put a lot of work into it.
Is it difficult to commit to sports programs for months at a time?
There’s really a lot with everything going on, and I’ll be taking a lot of time out of my winter, so I’d really like thank my wife for her support.
What are your plans for the summer?
It’s kind of late in the year, but we’ll be having an in-house camp, a clinic here at the high school later in July and probably two other Friday/Saturday type clinics. We have a meeting scheduled for 6:30 p.m. July 10 at the high school, get everyone organized and get some information out, get an idea of where the kids are at. During the summer, I like to work with kids individually because during practice, you’ve got a whole bunch of kids there and coach one thing, but during summer it’s more one-on-one. We’re starting a little bit late, but we’ll make the best of what we’ve got, possibly do some scrimmages in Grand Junction, maybe bring some other teams in here. I’d like to see us take it up to another level, and these kids are ready to step into it, if we can get the commitment from them and the parents. I’m really looking forward to it.
9:02 a.m. On the 1000 block of Sage Court, community services personnel in Craig responded to a code enforcement call. A resident was issued a verbal warning for a code violation.