Moffat County bests Bears as wrestlers get back into groove vs. Rifle
With another multi-state tournament in front of them, Moffat County High School wrestlers needed a warmup round before coming off winter break straight into a big weekend.
And, if Bulldogs take on the coming days in Vernal, Utah like they did against their latest opponents, they’ll be in solid shape.
A home dual Thursday night between MCHS and Rifle was all about the hosting team as the Dogs won 58-12 against the Bears.
The first event after the holiday stretch was one that was packed with pins for MoCo’s varsity roster, with Kaden Hixson (106 pounds), Caden Call (113), Coltyn Terry (145) and Billy Lawton (182) each getting their foes into position to gain six points apiece for the count.
Anthony Duran (120), Dario Alexander (126), Daniel Caddy (152) and Michael Voloshin (170) each also picked up a half-dozen points at uncontested weights.
As for the Dogs’ other four matches, the home squad gained three wins by going the full three rounds.
Neither Dagan White (138) nor Pepper Rhyne (160) gave up any points to Rifle contenders, with White earning the 6-0 decision against Bryce Rowley and Rhyne running the show with three near-falls among his feats in a 13-0 major decision over Levi Miller.
At the 132 slot, Ryan Duzik had the closest bout of the night with Talon Cordova, who led the Bulldog 5-2 after one period.
Neither of them had the upper hand for long in a second period in which Duzik caught up in points with an escape, two takedowns and a near-fall, still behind 9-8 as the third round came.
As the two opponents fought it out in the final two minutes, Duzik edged ahead with a reversal, which Cordova attempted to mimic, only for Duzik to reverse the reversal and negate the potential points, finishing with the 10-9 win.
A pin for Blake Juergens and a 17-0 technical fall for Voloshin in pre-match exhibition events also added to the Bulldogs’ winning ways, though it wasn’t quite a perfect sweep of the Bears, including a loss by pin for Moffat’s Trace Frederickson.
Rifle heavyweight Alejandro Robles earned team points with a forfeit, while Alex Guardado closed the first period with MoCo’s Daniel Cruz with a win by fall with four seconds remaining.
MCHS coach Tyler Seislove noted that Cruz was wrestling up a weight at 195, ultimately outsized by Guardado.
“He was giving up a lot of weight tonight. I asked him if he could do that and take one for the team, and he took up the challenge. I’m thankful that he did,” Seislove said. “He’s fighting and getting better every day.”
With the second half of the wrestling season underway, CHSAA rules provide a two-pound cushion for wrestlers to allow them to stay in weight classes after winter break.
The Bulldogs will next compete Friday and Saturday at Uintah High School’s Tournament of Champions, an event which will permit an additional two-pound allowance.
Still, the more lenient rules won’t make the weekend any easier.
“TOC is probably one of the toughest tournaments we’ll have. We’re taking varsity and JV, so it’ll be nice to have the whole team together for the first time in a while,” Seislove said.
Keeping weight down isn’t as much of a concern for some athletes, such as Terry, who hopes to be on the higher end of the 145 class as the season continues.
“I’m still gaining a little bit of weight to fill that spot,” Terry said. “I’ve wrestled kids bigger than I am before, so I’m just trying to get out there and get some good work done.”