Craig Middle School wrestlers rock districts, ready for more |

Craig Middle School wrestlers rock districts, ready for more

Craig Middle School wrestler James Christiansen fights against Meeker opposition during the Bulldogs' home duals against the Cowboys. Christiansen was one of 13 Craig wrestlers to place at the district tournament. The team will next compete at the Western Slope Middle School Championships in Meeker.

The young grapplers of Craig Middle School wrestling are on track to complete their season at the highest levels.

The Bulldogs took second as a team and placed 13 individual members of the team March 14 at the district tournament in Oak Creek. Five CMS wrestlers took home the gold — Dagan White, Phoenix Harris, Isaiah Herod, Jared Atkin and Jefferson Piatt.

Placing second were Logan Montgomery, Brock Hartung and Drake Doherty, while Joe Neal, Kameron Baker, Victor Silva and James Christiansen were each third, and Blake Juergens was fourth.

CMS gained plentiful points in an event that it nearly won altogether, 2.5 points away from top team Gypsum Creek.

With a large group attending, many of the Bulldogs had to face off against their own teammates. Harris was able to move on to the later rounds of the 80-pound class thanks to a pin in the semifinals against his friend, Neal, who took his honors after defeating Kaden Cox and then Juergens, both by 3-1 decisions.

"It was kind of hard knowing that only one of us could win," seventh-grader Harris said, adding that he hopes he'll only meet up with kids from other schools in the future, though there's no guarantee of that.

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White said the toughest moment of his 5-0 day was the championship bout against Eagle Valley's Lee Bullock.

"I'm just happy I came out, tried so hard and accomplished my goal," he said.

White has been part of the sport for years with the Bad Dogs Wrestling program, though this is the first year officially with CMS for the seventh-grader.

The Bulldogs move on to the Western Slope Middle School Championships in Meeker Saturday, which coaches Tanner Linsacum and Mark Voloshin expect to be a good competition as they meet many of the same groups.

"It'll be a real barn-burner," he said. "They're looking at 280 kids."

After that, kids can compete at a regional event in Grand Junction to qualify for the eventual state meet in Denver to finish the season.

"They're dialed in, maintaining their skill level," Voloshin said. "They're coming up and changing with their abilities."

Contact Andy Bockelman at 970-875-1793 or or follow him on Twitter @CDP_Sports.

Craig Middle School wrestling district winners

Athlete, weight class

First place

Dagan White, 70

Phoenix Harris, 80

Isaiah Herod, 95

Jared Atkin, 120

Jefferson Piatt, 125

Second place

Logan Montgomery, 70

Brock Hartung, 90

Drake Doherty, 285

Third place

Joe Neal, 80

Kameron Baker, 100

Victor Silva, 115

James Christiansen, 165

Fourth place

Blake Juergens, 80

— The team placed second overall.