Basketball, wrestling practices begin at Moffat County High School |

Basketball, wrestling practices begin at Moffat County High School

Moffat County wrestling coach Roman Gutierrez instructs sophomore Dru Nielson as he places freshman Brayden Peterson in a hold. The wrestling team began practices on Monday for its upcoming season.
Andy Bockelman

Starting the season

Moffat County High School 2010-11 boys winter sports:

(Sport, First game/Date, First home game/Date)

Boys basketball, Montrose/Dec. 9, Grand Junction Central/Dec. 13

Wrestling, Mountain Vista/Dec. 3, Palisade/Jan. 18

After several months of playing outdoor sports, the boys of Moffat County High School are still hard at work in a different location: the school’s indoor facilities.

The boys basketball and wrestling teams officially kicked off practices this week, preparing for the upcoming seasons.

David Bradshaw, in his first year as the basketball team’s head coach, had his players attend open gym sessions last week before starting regular practices.

Bradshaw said 30 boys make up this year’s team, 10 of whom are incoming freshman. The new players and their more experienced teammates have meshed well, Bradshaw said.

“They’re building chemistry every day,” he said.

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Bradshaw said he is “still evaluating” the upperclassmen, though he expects Chet Harvey, Zach and Angelo Raftopoulos, and other seniors to be among his strongest players.

“We’ve mostly been working on defensive skill work,” he said. “I don’t know that we’ll be a heavy pressure team. We plan to lock it in at half-court. It’s a little bit different system than they’re used to.”

Junior Bobby Kyle said he likes what he’s seen of Bradshaw’s coaching technique.

“He runs a pretty good program so far,” he said.

Being back in the gym is already an adjustment for Kyle, who was unable to play basketball during his sophomore year.

“I played when I was a freshman, but I was ineligible when I was a sophomore because I had missed so much school,” he said. “It feels good to be back because I get to play the sport that I love and I get to play with people that I’ve known for a long time. I think we’ll do well once the season finally starts.”

In the wrestling room, the feeling was mutual among teammates.

“It’s good be back in here,” sophomore Dru Nielson said. “We’re just getting used to the tempo.”

Wrestling coach Roman Gutierrez said he plans to work with his team on fundamental skills for the first few weeks of practice.

“Until we get a little further in, we’re going to work on technique with a little conditioning, just to get the rust off of them and get them used to the mat,” he said.

Practicing basic holds was part of the practice schedule, with the group working on the guillotine pinning move Wednesday afternoon.

The team’s first practice was Monday. Gutierrez said 16 boys showed up.

“I was expecting about 22, but if it turns out that our team is smaller, we’ll have to work with what we got,” he said.

The team is mainly composed of freshman and sophomores, with five seniors returning, including Cody Nelson, Kye Adams and Charlie Griffiths.

“This is probably the youngest team I’ve ever had,” Gutierrez said. “They’re really going to have to take their lumps.”

Brayden Peterson was one of the freshmen getting his first brush with the sport at a high school level. Peterson said he wrestled in middle school, but being at MCHS was a little different.

“It’s tough getting started again,” he said.

Gutierrez said he expects his seniors to be ready to guide the younger wrestlers.

“You’ve got to have leadership in this sport,” he said.

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