CMS wrestlers take district title
The wrestling rivalry between Meeker and Craig extends beyond the high school level.
The Craig Middle School wrestlers had their 14-year winning streak as district champions snapped last year by the Cowboys of Barone Middle School in Meeker.
The Bulldogs recaptured the district trophy this year with a 56-31 win in a dual against the Cowboys in Meeker on March 12.
“It’s a good tournament with Meeker, Hayden, Rangely and Gypsum there,” coach Don Guffy said. “Meeker lost to Hayden at our tournament but beat them by four points in pool play to reach the championship.”
In pool play, the Bulldogs defeated Gypsum County, Rangely and Steamboat Springs.
Wrestlers are deemed district champions if they go through the four duals undefeated at the Meeker tournament. The Bulldogs had seven district champions out of 18 weight classes.
District champions were: Mike Layne, 80 pounds; Nathan Tomlin, 90 pounds; Troy Vernon, 105 pounds; Lyle Schaffner, 130; Clancy Garoutte, 145; Garrett Verplank, 155; and Logan Foster, heavyweight.
Layne and Tomlin will be back next year to defend their titles as eighth graders. The other wres-tlers will be freshmen next year.
Schaffner went through the season undefeated and sits in the middle of an eighth-grade class that has talent throughout all weights.
“We have a little bit of everything in that class,” Guffy said. “They’re typical Moffat County wrestlers because they’re good at pinning people.”
Guffy is a part of the high school coaching staff, and he said that part of the high school’s success is because of the consistency from the middle school program to the high school’s.
“They enter as freshmen and they don’t see too much that’s new,” he said. “That is a difference between other schools in the area.”
The wrestlers have the shortest season of all middle school sports with only four official tournaments.
“We work on the basic things as much as we can,” Guffy said. “When they come up to high school they see the same things, just more complex.”
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