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Craig Middle School wrestling rules at West Grand Rumble

Craig Middle School's Blake Hill nears a pin during a Feb. 18 dual against Hayden.
Andy Bockelman

With one team victory after another early in the season for Craig Middle School wrestling, it’s already shaping up to be a successful Bulldog season.

CMS took the top spot among 10 teams Saturday, Feb. 29 during the West Grand Rumble in Kremmling, with the gritty grapplers amassing 239 points, 34 pins, seven champions and nearly all of the roster placing.

Earning the gold standard in their respective weights were Laine Simpson (85 pounds), Colt Call (90), Kaeden Martinez (110), Osbaldo Quintana (115), Zach Hedman (120), Eli Frederickson (125), and Blake Hill (180), all going undefeated.

Craig Middle School’s Colt Call has the advantage during a Feb. 18 dual against Hayden.
Andy Bockelman

In some cases, CMS wrestlers were paired with one another in the brackets, though even against their teammates, athletes kept in control.

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Taking second place were Haven Carr (80), Noah Duran (95), Keegan Herod (115), Wade Karo (125), Caesar Quezada (130), and heavyweight Zachary Faulk.

Gaining the bronze were Mikah Vasquez (105), Kenny Frederickson (120), and Kannon Gustin (135).

In fourth were Paxton Hartung (85), Lane Karo (90), Parker Maxwell (100), Kolbee Cheek (110), Kaleb Duzik (115), Luke Montgomery (130), and Kolten Vasquez (145).

Fifth place went to Blake Peed (70) and Cydny Witherall (90) and sixth to Cash Counts (90), while JW Mowdy (120), Aron Alcantar (125) and Mitchell Hume (135) each fought through crowded weight classes.

Craig Middle School’s Cash Counts battles during a Feb. 18 dual against Hayden.
Andy Bockelman

The first tournament setting for the Bulldogs was the latest in what’s been a dominant start to the season for CMS. The team began the schedule with its lone home event, a dual against Hayden that Craig wrestlers won 90-36.

CMS went on to a triangular meet between Meeker and Rangely Feb. 25, sweeping both the Cowboys and the Panthers in Meeker.

Coming straight out of the Moffat County High School season, Mark Voloshin serves as head coach, with Tyler Seislove and Anton Fredrickson rounding out the staff.

With the roster featuring competitors in grades six through eight, the team has a variety of talent between those in their first year at the junior high level and some who represented CMS well beyond the regular season at regional and state events last year.

With Cydny Witherall and Mikah Vasquez on the team, it hasn’t been all boys for that matter.

Craig Middle School’s Mikah Vasquez squares up during a Feb. 18 dual against Hayden.
Andy Bockelman

Though she struggled in the home match, Vasquez said she appreciates the challenge that comes with the sport.

“I like that wrestling’s kind of tough,” she said, adding that her loss at home only served to show her where she could improve.

Voloshin also welcomes having more female athletes in a sport that continues to offer more to young women at higher levels, with Colorado High School Activities Association hosting a girls state event for the second year in February.

“I think that’s really gonna take and get some more girls doing this,” Voloshin said.

CMS wrestling will be back in action this weekend for the Soroco Tournament in Oak Creek, followed by a March 10 dual in Rangely leading into districts in Hayden March 14. Athletes will also have the option of continuing from there for Rocky Mountain Nationals events outside of the CMS purview for regionals and state.

“We’re really looking forward to getting some of these guys to that state tournament,” Voloshin said.


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