Moffat County advances two wrestlers to Friday’s championship quarters |

Moffat County advances two wrestlers to Friday’s championship quarters

Ben Ingersoll

An even larger contingent of Bulldogs at the 3A state wrestling tournament in Denver would have been ideal, but after Day 1 of competition on Thursday, Moffat County High School grapplers are making their presence felt.

Moffat County juniors Issik Herod and Stelios Peroulis each punched their tickets to their respective quarterfinals Friday at the Pepsi Center with strong showings on the mat in the preliminary round.

Trailing 7-1 after the first period and 11-4 heading into the final two minutes of action, Herod finally made his move. The junior regional champion faced a 13-7 hole with about 30 seconds to go before his opponent, Bennett’s Andrew Clark, the No. 6 seed, got caught. Herod scored a pin at the 5:32 mark in the match to secure the upset win and move on. He will take on Valley’s Zach Damian in the quarterfinals, a foe Herod is familiar with.

"He didn’t give up many mistakes," Moffat County assistant coach Daniel Cramblett said. "Good for him in a Day-1 win. He’s a three-time qualifier now, and he’s never won on Day 1."

Herod, like Hayden’s Devlyn Mossman, was one of The Denver Post’s All-Name teamers for the state tournament’s most elaborate names.

Peroulis had to hang on, but he’s also a win away from setting himself up for a medal. Peroulis jumped on Strasburg’s No. 4 seed Jacob Smith and survived for the 4-2 win.

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"Stelios gave a reversal at the end but scored an escape and won by two," Cramblett said. "He’s got a good chance. He’s wrestling a tough kid the next round. We’re expecting him to maybe win next round and get to the semis."

That tough kid is No. 1 seed Chad Ellis, of Berthoud, who sports a 39-3 record now.

Moffat County freshman Mikinzie Klimper hung tough with Platte Valley’s Clark Jett for almost three periods, but surrendered a pin at the 4:59 mark. Klimper is set to take on Alamosa’s Nate Henry in the consolation bracket Friday morning.

"Obviously, we wished we had more kids here for our program, but you know what, (Herod and Peroulis) are two juniors and it’s awesome for them and our program," Cramblett said.

3 Tigers march toward championship rounds at state wrestling

In the mind of Hayden High School senior Kent Miller, he hasn’t really done anything with his wrestling career just yet.

Denver’s Pepsi Center doesn’t phase him quite like it used to. The glamour of the 2A state wrestling championship gets the best of a lot of young, up-and-coming talent, but as a four-time qualifier now, Miller is ready to make that next step.

"I feel like I have to do something this year," Miller said after his preliminary round win on Thursday at 152 pounds. "I haven’t done anything yet. I have to leave it all out there. I’ve got nothing to lose."

Miller was a win away last winter from placing and taking home a medal, and the near-miss resonates with him. He took a step in the right direction toward that goal with a 9-4 decision over Akron’s Tyler Hottinger in a sometimes tricky, yet comfortable win.

He won’t be alone. The Tigers advanced two other wrestlers to Friday morning’s championship quarterfinal round after Taylor Lewis (182 pounds) and Christian Carson (195 pounds) scored big wins, not only for their resumes, but for the Hayden program as a whole.

"I’m psyched," Lewis said. "Kent and Christian, I’ve seen how hard they’ve worked. They all deserved to get here and they deserve to win it."

Lewis made quick work of Merino’s Zahayton Buckner with a pin in the first period. Carson had to earn his quarterfinals trip the hard way.

Trailing for much of the three periods versus Highland’s Tony Lucero, Carson scored a reversal and a near fall to make up five points as time expired, setting up overtime. He finished Lucero off with a takedown and the win.

"He’s only a sophomore. This is pretty exciting," Hayden coach Chad Jones said about Carson.

Sophomore Tiger and Moffat County transfer Devlyn Mossman — selected to The Denver Post’s All-Name Team by preps reporter Neil Devlin — lost a heartbreaker at 120 pounds. Clinging to a two-point lead late in the third period, Akron’s Reid Palser tied the score at 2-all with a takedown, and when Mossman went back up, Palser dropped two more points on the sophomore for the 4-3 win. Mossman now has Fowler’s Gino DeVore in the consolation first round Friday.

Hayden senior Tate Montieth had some trouble with Highland’s Jake Trujillo, the 132-pound No. 2 seed in 2A. Trujillo scored a pin with 36 seconds left in the first period, and now Montieth is matched against Centauri’s Brian Shawcroft in the first-round consolation.

Miller’s task won’t be easy as he takes on Eads’ Reagan Lane, the No. 1 seed at 152 pounds. Lewis will draw Center’s George Weatherford, a 23-12 senior, and Carson is slated to battle an undefeated senior in Centauri freshman Jareb Aziz.

Lewis is perhaps the most confident of them all, but that’s just his demeanor — don’t let the pressure of the moment and a rowdy arena affect your final performance as a Hayden Tiger.

"I’m feeling alright," Lewis said. "State, it’s always a pressure, but I’m not all that worried right now. When semis come, I’ll get a bit more nervous. As of right now, I’m feeling fine, confident."

Sailors trio drops to Friday consolation bracket

It’s maybe what you’d expect at the 3A state wrestling tournament, but certainly not a result they’ll settle for.

Steamboat Springs’ three qualifiers — sophomores Colton Pasternak, Dakota Thvedt and Matthew Hansen — came into Denver’s Pepsi Center with high hopes and even higher expectations for themselves, but Day 1 proved to be a bit of a struggle for the trio.

Pasternak opened with Sheridan’s Presiliano Maez in the 106s bracket, and quickly jumped on the nearly undefeated freshman, 2-0, in the opening period. But after a very lengthy delay caused by some scoring and clock issues, Maez went to work en route to a 15-9 decision win. Pasternak is now scheduled to wrestle Lamar’s Justin Batterton in Friday’s consolation.

Steamboat sophomore 120-pounder Dakota Thvedt — who qualified for state last year at 113 pounds — couldn’t snag the upset victory over Brush’s Macky Sandoval. Thvedt hung tough in the first two periods, trailing by one point after the first, and four points after the second, but the methodical Sandoval kept plugging away for the 9-4 decision win.

Thvedt will face Fort Lupton’s Jaylen Williams Friday morning.

Elizabeth’s Rob Leonard made the prelims tough on Hansen at 145 pounds. Hansen trailed 12-2 through two periods and ultimately fell by decision, 14-2, dropping him to the consolation bracket against Dimitris Flores, of Mullen, the No. 16 seed.

"I told them you’ve come here with a mission," Steamboat coach Travis Bryant said. "Don’t be satisfied. You have to take that loss as water under the bridge and look toward the next opponent."

To reach Ben Ingersoll, call 970-871-4204, email or follow him on Twitter @BenMIngersoll

2A/3A State Wrestling Championship prelims results

Moffat County

■ 126 pounds: Issik Herod def. Andrew Clark (Bennett), fall 5:32

■ 160 pounds: Clark Jett (Platte Valley) def. Mikinzie Klimper, fall 4:59

■ 170 pounds: Stelios Peroulis def. Jacob Smith (Strasburg), 4-2


■ 120 pounds: Reid Palser (Akron) def. Devlyn Mossman, 4-3

■ 132 pounds: Jake Trujillo (Highland) def. Tate Montieth, fall 1:24

■ 152 pounds: Kent Miller def. Tyler Hottinger (Akron), 9-4

■ 182 pounds: Taylor Lewis def. Zahaylon Buckner (Merino), fall 1:51

■ 195 pounds: Christian Carson def. Tony Lucero (Highland), sudden victory

Steamboat Springs

■ 106 pounds: Presiliano Maez (Sheridan) def. Colton Pasternak, 15-9

■ 120 pounds: Macky Sandoval (Brush) def. Dakota Thvedt, 9-5

■ 145 pounds: Rob Leonard (Elizabeth) def. Matthew Hansen, 14-2