Bad Dawgs prepare to bite

David Pressgrove

The sweat’s been dripping and the legs have been pumping for the Moffat County Bad Dawg wrestlers the past two weeks. This weekend they’ll finally get to take to the mat at the first of four Rocky Mountain National tournaments.

“They run us for a long time,” 10-year-old Jake Bingham said. “It’s because we aren’t in good shape when we start.”

As of Wednesday, six Bad Dawgs had signed up to leave Friday for the Gladiator Championship tournament in Provo, Utah. The Bad Dawgs have been attending the Rocky Mountain National tournaments for six years.

“When we first started going, we were getting beat up on,” coach Billy Bingham said. “But our program holds its own now.”

All six of the wrestlers who were signed up by Wednesday had placed in an RMN tournament.

“There are wrestlers from a lot of big towns like Salt Lake City,” 11-year-old Chance Peters said. “We can beat them though.”

Last year, the Bad Dawgs took second as a team at a national tournament in Las Vegas with only 12 wrestlers.

Chance’s brother, 8-year-old Heath, said he likes the national tournaments because of the trophies.

“You can get trophies that are as tall as you,” he said. “Mikey (Bingham) has a couple of trophies bigger than him.”

The Bad Dawg season can go from October to June if the wrestlers choose to stay involved the entire time. Chance said he likes to wrestle as much as he can because, “it helps you out for every sport. It’s tough because you have to make split-second decisions all the time.”

Jake and Chance are getting into the more experienced and quicker age groups.

“The guys are starting to look like they’re 13 years old,” Jake said. “I wrestled one guy who was all muscle.”

There is no qualification required for the four RMN tournaments, but the competition and brackets can be tough.

“There are brackets with 50 guys,” Jake said. “You wrestle a lot that weekend.”After the Gladiator Champ-ionships, the Bad Dawgs will travel to Denver for the Monster Mash National Tournament.

All of the wrestlers had different answers for which tournament was the toughest of the four.

“They can all be hard,” Mikey Bingham said. “You just have to be tough.”

Spoken like a true Bad Dawg.

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