‘Exceptional effort’ propels Moffat County wrestlers to wins at Maverick Duals
Moffat County High School wrestling at Maverick DualsWeight, Wrestler — Event record 106, Caden Call — 4-1; 3 pins, 1 forfeit 113, Hunter Fredrickson — 3-2; 1 pin, 2 forfeits 120, Dagan White — 3-1; 2 pins 126, Blake Juergens — 4-1; 2 forfeits 132, Kalub West — 3-3; 1 pin 138, Coltyn Terry — 1-3; 1 pin 145, Daniel Caddy — 5-0; 1 forfeit 152, Brock Hartung — 2-3; 1 pin, 1 forfeit 170, Greg Hixson — 2-3; 1 pin, 1 forfeit 182, Daniel Cruz — 4-0; 1 pin, 3 forfeits
GRAND JUNCTION — With small numbers on their roster, Moffat County High School wrestlers knew they would need to make up for that on the mat, and focusing on powerhouse performances made all the difference.
MCHS grapplers were 3-2 Saturday during the Maverick Duals at Colorado Mesa University, going up against some of the Western Slope’s most challenging programs.
Bulldogs earned team wins against Olathe (31-21), Montrose (33-30) and Hotchkiss (41-30) throughout the day, compensating for multiple open slots in the lineup with determined dominance.
While the Pirates took three wins by decision and one pin against the Dogs, MoCo gained the advantage over Olathe as Caden Call (106 pounds) and Dagan White (120) each earned first-round falls, while Blake Juergens (126) had a 14-5 major decision and Daniel Caddy (145) a narrow 4-3 decision.
Moffat County kept it closer with Montrose, with the Indians also fielding a sparse roster, gaining 18 points off forfeits. Still, it was an 11-1 MD by Kalub West (132), a 15-0 technical fall by Caddy and a pin by Call that let them walk away with the win.
As for Hotchkiss, the battle between Bulldog teams went vastly in favor of the blue boys as Call, White, Coltyn Terry (138) each took a pin, with another tech fall for Caddy.
MCHS’s two group defeats were to Cedaredge (42-35) and Paonia (33-30) in rounds where the uneven benches hurt the Dogs.
The Bruins gained three forfeits against MoCo, with another 24 points coming from wins by fall. One of the fiercest runs of the meet gave the Bulldogs another tech from Caddy, as well as pins by Hunter Fredrickson (113), West, Brock Hartung (152), Greg Hixson (170) and Daniel Cruz (182).
As for Paonia, the Eagles were equally under-represented as both teams took 24 points by forfeit. Decisions went to White (5-0), Juergens (9-2) and West (7-2), but Paonia remained just ahead in the final score with two pins.
The duals proved to be a success, said coach Dusty Vaughn, adding that after the Blue and White Dual at home to prepare, wrestlers were ready to take on all comers.
“The guys wrestled a lot harder, and I think we all got a little bit better today,” he said. “Everyone was focused on exceptional effort.”
The Blue and White was a worthwhile warmup for the Maverick, one which saw Bulldogs get in gear for the schedule with a wrestle-off complete with a crowd.
Connor Winn, who was unable to compete Saturday, said the Blue and White was great preparation for what they’d expect to see.
“It’s a brotherhood, and you’ve gotta fight like a brother,” he said.
Caddy, who went unscathed Saturday, gained two tech falls against teammates while at the home event.
“I was able to bring it a little bit more. It was a fun crowd,” he said Thursday.
A long line of duals is one he prefers compared to regular tournaments.
“It guarantees four or five matches, and there’s a lot more waiting around at tournaments on different mats. This way you can watch your teammates, too,” Caddy said.
Vaughn said he decided not to have any grapplers attend the Olathe JV Tournament Saturday MCHS had been scheduled to join due to already low numbers. Most of the competitors at the Blue and White went on to compete at the Maverick Duals, though the Dogs were down a few athletes as Winn, Isiaih Herod, Pepper Rhyne, Anthony Duran and Ryan Duzik were unable to hit the mat.
Alternately, Hixson, a senior who was iffy about competing in the early season as he recovers from knee surgery, was able to compete.
“It was great to see him out there sooner than we thought,” Vaughn said.
MCHS wrestling only has one other home event left in 2018 — with the next occasion in the Moffat County gym not until February — as the Bulldogs host a triangular meet at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 4 against Steamboat Springs and Coal Ridge.