Bulldogs hope to net medals at state | CraigDailyPress.com

Bulldogs hope to net medals at state

Joel Reichenberger

Moffat County's Mikinzie Kilmper throws La Junta wrestler Joe Martinez to the mat Friday during the Class 3A state wrestling tournament in Denver. The day didn't go as the Bulldogs had hoped, but Kilmper was one of three Moffat wrestlers to bounce back from a loss in the tournament to advance to Saturday.

Denver — For Moffat County High School’s Stelios Peroulis, the Class 3A state wrestling tournament in Denver wasn’t supposed to go the way it went Thursday. — For Moffat County High School's Stelios Peroulis, the Class 3A state wrestling tournament in Denver wasn't supposed to go the way it went Thursday.

— For Moffat County High School's Stelios Peroulis, the Class 3A state wrestling tournament in Denver wasn't supposed to go the way it went Thursday.

2016 Class 3A state wrestling results

Moffat County

113 — Ethan Andrade, Lamar, def. Chris Moschetti, Moffat County, 9-0

132 — Brandon Damian, Valley, def. Issik Herod, Moffat County, 5-3

Herod def. Darian Rosales, Fort Lupton, 2-0

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170 — Macoy Flanagan, Valley, def. Mikinzie Kilmper, Moffat County, 12-8

Kilmper def. Joe Martinez, La Junta, 17-5

182 — Patrick Holtzhauser, Sterling, def. Hugo Hernandez, 13-2

Hernandez def. Adrian Perez, Denver North, 11-3

195 — Jake Hernandez, Valley, def. Brett Loyd, Moffat County, 10-3

Livan Santander, Delta, def. Loyd, 8-5

220 — Stelios Peroulis, Moffat County, def. Adrian Ovalle, Jefferson, 8-0

Peroulis def. Manuelito Casias, Alamosa, 4-2

The senior had been defeated only four times on the season and had big plans for his final wrestling hurrah. That was all changed in his first match, however. He lost.

He wasn't pinned. It wasn't decisive. It was overtime, one small mistake that seemed to blot out everything he'd done all season.

That was Thursday, though, and Friday, Peroulis was back in a big way. He made the most of his unexpected trip to the consolation bracket, winning there twice to stay alive and define what's been a decidedly up and down experience for the Bulldogs at state.

"He's got that confidence back and has a goal in his mind to medal," Moffat County coach Tanner Linsacum said. "He was disappointed, but he's never had a state medal, so he still has a goal in mind."

Peroulis is one of four Moffat wrestlers still alive in the tournament. They all are back in action Saturday, hoping to charge through the bracket to third-place finishes.

Issik Herod, at 132 pounds; Mikinzie Kilmper, at 170; Hugo Hernandez, at 182; and Peroulis at 220 all won matches in the consolation bracket Friday to make it possible.

That came after the worst start to the day the team could have imagined.

The Bulldogs rolled into Denver's Pepsi Center with four of its six state-qualified wrestlers still in line to compete for state championships. An hour later, all four were in the consolation bracket.

Herod lost a tight match, 5-3. Hernandez fell 13-2 and Brett Loyd, at 195 pounds, lost 10-3.

Kilmper may have had the best match of the bunch. He ran up against Valley's Macoy Flanagan, 50-0 and considered one of the top wrestlers in the state.

It was easy to see why early on, as Flanagan racked up a big lead, 10-4. Kilmper dominated the third period, however, and actually threatened to pull off an upset that would have shocked the state.

He fell just short, losing 12-8.

"He's a really good wrestler, and I was a little intimidated at first," Kilmper said. "Then, I realized he's not as conditioned as I am. His technique is great, but going into that third, I felt like I had more breath than he did. But getting down in the first and second, I just wasn’t able to catch up."

Friday did mark the end of the season for two Bulldogs.

Chris Moschetti lost his consolation match at 113 pounds, 9-0. Loyd then lost twice, first in the quarterfinals and later in a tough consolation bracket match, 8-5.

"We lost two today, but we still have four kicking around," Linsacum said. "I couldn't be prouder of how they handled it."

2016 Class 3A state wrestling results

Moffat County

113 — Ethan Andrade, Lamar, def. Chris Moschetti, Moffat County, 9-0

132 — Brandon Damian, Valley, def. Issik Herod, Moffat County, 5-3

Herod def. Darian Rosales, Fort Lupton, 2-0

170 — Macoy Flanagan, Valley, def. Mikinzie Kilmper, Moffat County, 12-8

Kilmper def. Joe Martinez, La Junta, 17-5

182 — Patrick Holtzhauser, Sterling, def. Hugo Hernandez, 13-2

Hernandez def. Adrian Perez, Denver North, 11-3

195 — Jake Hernandez, Valley, def. Brett Loyd, Moffat County, 10-3

Livan Santander, Delta, def. Loyd, 8-5

220 — Stelios Peroulis, Moffat County, def. Adrian Ovalle, Jefferson, 8-0

Peroulis def. Manuelito Casias, Alamosa, 4-2