From the slots to the stands |

From the slots to the stands

Vegas trip has dual purposes for wrestling supporters

LAS VEGAS — For nine years, families of Moffat County High School wrestlers have trekked here hoping to see two things — pins and triple sevens.

“It’s a good time of the year to get out of Craig, and there isn’t a much better way to do it then to watch wrestling and have fun in Vegas,” said Bev Kostur, who has made the trip a rite to watch her sons, Kurt, Kyle and Korey. “The boys almost always do better than we do in the casinos.”

Ever since the first trip in 1995, the Moffat County crowd has been the largest.

“The first time we came we had more of a crowd than the home team, and it’s been similar ever since,” coach Roman Gutierrez said. “I always hoped to have a big trip for both the families and the kids, and eventually I think the school officials got tired of me asking.”

Karen Brown and her family liked the trip so much they returned this year even though her son, Kaleb, graduated last year.

“I became an addict,” she said. “And it’s about 50/50 to which I’m addicted to more.”

Orvie Zimmerman also could be considered an addict. Like the Kosturs, he has been on every trip.

“Our family is a wrestling family, and we like to have fun, too,” he said as he prepared to watch his two grandsons, Levi Weber and Shayne Zimmerman. “All the parents here are like grandparents to all the other wrestlers because we know and support each one of them.”

Before the tournament starts, the same question can usually be heard from the parents.

“How’d you do today?”

Everybody wants to hear how the gambling went.

Friday’s early winner was Dennis Fredrickson. The father of senior Eric Fredrickson said he was up by about $1,800.

“I’m done now,” he said. “That’s all I’m going to wager.”

Once the wrestling started the talk of the day’s gambling stopped. It was time to support.

“We have tremendous fans,” Gutierrez said. “We have parents for all but three of the wrestlers here, and there are others who don’t even have kids.”

Andrea and Rich Norman were on their maiden voyage to watch there sophomore son, Cody.

“We’ve learned we need to plan a little better,” Rich said after revealing that they hadn’t made any reservations.

“We’ve heard a lot about this trip and look forward to making it again for the next three year,” Andrea said.

All of the parents were a little relieved that they were unaware that the Bulldogs didn’t start the day until 6 p.m. Most of them arrived to Green Valley High School at about 3:30 p.m. because they thought the tournament started at 4:30.

“It probably saved me a bit of money,” Kostur said. “But I did leave a hot machine.”

“Where was that machine?” Vicki Gutierrez, Roman’s wife said. “Oh never mind, it won’t work for me, it never does.”

They then went back to what does work. Cheering for their Boys in Blue.

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