Craig Middle School wrestlers split with Hayden, Meeker to start season
The season will go by quickly for the athletes of Craig Middle School, yet a short but sweet schedule started well for the Bulldogs.
All three schools split in team scores during a Tuesday triangular meet at CMS between Craig, Hayden and Meeker.
The Tigers and the Cowboys began the night, Hayden taking a narrow victory at 49-48, while a well-rounded Meeker roster followed with a 66-48 win over CMS.
The Bulldogs gave up too many empty weight classes to the Cowboys, though Craig grapplers took seven pins in varsity matches, including Colt Call (85 pounds), Kaden Hixson (90), Brody Wiser (95), Tyren Schaefer (105), Brendon Wait (120), Billy Lawton (155) and Blake Hill (170).
At the JV level, Kaleb Duzik (90), Zane Durham (100), Zach Hedman (100), and Hunter Faulk (170) also took wins.
Hayden and Craig squared off for the third and final dual, with a 17-4 technical fall for Call, decisions of 8-4 for Shaffer, 8-7 for Wait and 10-2 for Lawton, among seven more wins by fall the Dogs would collect in the 63-36 victory against the Tigers.
While Ian Hafey took a loss to Meeker’s Dagen Dade in the 145 weight along with a knock on the head, he recovered well for his bout with Hayden’s Wes Gioia, nearly gaining the pin twice in the second period before officially picking up six points in the third.
“I was trying to get him into a cradle, but it took a little longer than I wanted,” Hafey said.
While the sixth- and seventh-grade grapplers are no slouches, the CMS eighth-graders are especially prepared for the season ahead said Mark Voloshin, who coaches along with Chad Lawton and Tyler Seislove.
“We just picked right up where we left off last year. They know the system by now,” Voloshin said.
The school schedule will include a tournament in Montrose this Saturday, as well as events hosted by Soroco and East Grand leading up to the district tournament March 16 in Meeker. Athletes who want to continue from there can also participate through Rocky Mountain Nationals, going as far as regional and state tourneys.
“Our team’s going to be even better as a tournament team than a dual team,” Voloshin said. “Montrose will be a good test coming up, see what kind of competition they’ll have in the southwest part of the state.”
Hafey said the level of competition hasn’t been too different from last season, though he’s made a point of working harder.
“It’s a lot more responsibility,” he said.
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