Moffat County boys wrestling dukes it out at duals, celebrates seniors |

Moffat County boys wrestling dukes it out at duals, celebrates seniors

From left, Moffat County seniors Kaden Hixson, Billie Frederickson, Billy Lawton, and Michael Voloshin are the honorees for Bulldog wrestling's Senior Night on Thursday, Jan. 26.
Andy Bockelman/Craig Press

The final appeareance on his home mat didn’t go as Moffat County grappler Billy Lawton would have preferred with two bouts coming right down to the wire.

While he would have liked to have been the wrestler whose arm was raised in triumph, there are bigger things coming up for him and his teammates.

The MCHS boys took a pair of team wins Thursday, Jan. 26, against Basalt and Hayden in one of the Bulldogs’ few home events. It also doubled as senior night with a ceremony for Lawton, Kaden Hixson and Voloshin. Team manager Billie Frederickson was also part of the festivities, as she too was joined by her folks.

Frederickson has been a manager for the past three years, and among her duties have been shooting video of matches and working with the scorebook.

“They’re like my built-in best friends that I’m around every single year,” she said of the team.

Frederickson had multiple opportunities for video highlights on Thursday, starting with a 58-18 win over Basalt.

Sophomore Blake Tupa fought through a 14-9 loss at the 113-pound class, but Noah Duran (120), Hixson (126), Colt Call (132), Kaeden Martinez (138) and Eli Fredrickson (144) each gained six team points with pins in the first period, while Blake Hill won the 175-pound class by an 11-0 major decision.

When Lawton stepped up against Basalt’s Brady Samuelson in the 190-pound bout, it was not the first time they had met.

“That was my fifth time wrestling him the past two years,” Lawton said. “It was nothing new. We both know what the other’s going to do every time. I’ve beaten him three out of the five times.”

In a back-and-forth match, the two were tied 3-3 with seconds remaining before Samuelson got a takedown to win 5-3.

After a warmup against the Longhorns, the Bulldogs were primed for a tough competition against Hayden. The Dogs won 40-30, but the Tigers didn’t make it easy.

Hixson has dropped back down to 126 pounds after being at the 132-pound slot earlier in the season. He threw his weight around when paired with Hayden’s Joey Burgard and pinned him at 1 minute, 33 seconds.

While Owen Miller gained an overtime win 10-8 at 132 pounds, and Sabyn Hager a 15-9 victory at 157 for Hayden, Martinez won 14-0, and Aron Aguilar got a pin at 150 pounds for the Dogs, as did Voloshin (165), Hill and Cyrus Goldsmith (215).

Paired with Cody Hawn, Lawton struggled to get ahead, with Hawn winning 3-2.

“I ran out of gas both times in the third period. It just shows me what I need to work on,“ Lawton said. “The only thing I’m really frustrated about is it happened my last time wrestling here.”

After a great deal of tournament competition in recent weeks, the Dogs went back into dual format this week during the Saturday, Jan. 28, Grand Valley Great 8 in Parachute. MoCo took third out of the eight schools, with Hixson, Martinez, Fredrickson and Voloshin all going undefeated.

The Bulldogs won 58-18 over Coal Ridge, 54-16 over Glenwood Springs and 39-34 in a rematch with Hayden. Also, Florence defeated MoCo 48-36, while Meeker won 52-28 over the Dogs.

Moffat County wrestlers have less than two weeks before the regional tournament Feb. 10-11 in Glenwood, and they’ll attend a dual tournament in Rawlins, Wyoming, this weekend.

“We’ll be working on strength and conditioning,” coach Mark Voloshin said of the Bulldogs. “We’ve got a lot of wrestling left to do; they’ll all keep going hard. … If regionals go like we think it will, their goals at the end of the season should come true.”

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