Moffat County boys wrestling masters Maverick Duals; girls team sees first-ever tourney |

Moffat County boys wrestling masters Maverick Duals; girls team sees first-ever tourney

Moffat County senior Michael Voloshin forces his Grand Junction opponent into pin position during the Maverick Duals on Saturday, Dec. 3, 2022, in Grand Junction.
Andy Bockelman/Craig Press

The first season with two Moffat County wrestling teams has begun, and both squads have started off on the right foot.

The boys were at Grand Junction’s Maverick Duals this weekend and the girls traveled to the Greeley West Girls Tournament, with each team seeing success. With only a few weeks of practice, the girls came out strong Friday, Dec. 2, by tying for eighth place among 29 schools.

The girls had three wrestlers place at the event with senior Makaela Simpson scoring three consecutive pins to move on to the 170-pound finals before falling to Platte Valley’s Nevaeh Garcia.

At the 105 weight class, junior Adrianna Price fell in the first round to Brighton’s Isabella Smouse but came back with three pins to get to the consolation finals. Paired with Smouse again, Price lost the rematch and ended the day in fourth place.

In the 235 class, junior Kenleigh Pubanz took a defeat in the opening round only to earn a pin and a win by injury forfeit. She also placed fourth after falling to Fort Lupton’s Gizell Adams. The tourney also saw wins for Mikah Vasquez, Kayla Deaton and Maddie Soper.

“For many of them, it was their first experience witnessing a tournament in person, so to compete was a huge step of bravery,” girls wrestling coach Ashleigh Seely said. “Although not everyone placed where we would have liked, we were able to see where we needed to improve. Now that the first competition is out of the way, we have more confidence which will drive us in the coming weeks.”

Moffat County wrestlers cheer on their teammate during the Maverick Duals.
Andy Bockelman/Craig Press

The Moffat County boys were up early Saturday morning, Dec. 3, at Colorado Mesa University for five straight matches in the Maverick Duals. The Bulldogs went 4-1 as a group with a 47-34 loss to Cedaredge ending the day.

However, the Bruins’ score largely came from a full roster that afforded them 30 extra points through forfeits at uncontested weights. In true matches, the Dogs had the advantage at 5-3.

In the rest of their duals, the Dogs went 42-36 over Gunnison, 48-24 over Delta, 48-16 over Rifle, and 48-21 over Grand Junction. Seniors Kaden Hixson, Michael Voloshin and Billy Lawton each went undefeated, and the trio recorded 11 pins combined throughout the day.

Sophomore Zach Hedman and juniors Eli Fredrickson, Aron Aguilar and Blake Hill each went 4-1.

Moffat County sophomore Zach Hedman maneuvers against Rifle during the Maverick Duals.
Andy Bockelman/Craig Press

Fredrickson’s only loss was in his opening bout, one which he knew would be the trickiest, paired with Gunnison’s Royce Uhrig.

“The kid I wrestled was a defending state champ, so that one was definitely tough,” he said.

He pinned four opponents after that. While he’s not worried about the physical part of the sport, he said he recognizes he needs to hone his mentality on the mat.

“The whole time I’m wrestling, I’m thinking, ‘I need more intensity, I need to be moving my feet more.’ Then I get kind of in the moment and kind of forget what I’m doing,” Fredrickson said. “So, I think if I just maintain my thought process, I’ll be good.”

Junior Noah Duran went 3-2 with two falls and sophomore Blake Tupa was 2-3, pinning Gunnison and Rifle foes.

Moffat County sophomore Blake Tupa works toward a pin against Rifle during the Maverick Duals.
Andy Bockelman/Craig Press

Last season, Tupa held down the smallest weight on the varsity roster, but since then a growth spurt has given him more height and a bump up in weight, along with more confidence.

“I think that freshman year helped a lot and now sophomore year will be a lot more fun,” he said.

He’s also feeling more comfortable at 113 pounds, a slot which he likely won’t need to defend from other teammates.

“I don’t have anybody else in Moffat County, so that’s nice, but it’s kind of a tough weight to wrestle,” Tupa said. “My goal this year is just to learn and improve and get better at the sport. We as a team have been pretty strong across all our weights and done good together.”

Bulldog boys also sent a handful of grapplers to the nearby Olathe JV Tournament, with all of them making it to the podium. Junior Cyrus Goldsmith went 3-0 in the 190 class to get the gold, while Tate Green and Jimi Jimenez each placed second and Colt Call fourth.

Up next, the girls will compete in this weekend’s Soroco tourney. Boys will compete Wednesday, Dec. 7, at Palisade before traveling Friday, Dec. 9, to Delta for a two-team dual before Saturday’s Delta Invite.

Moffat County wrestling results

Maverick Duals

113 — Blake Tupa, 2-3; 120 — Noah Duran, 3-2; 132 — Kaden Hixson, 4-0, Osbaldo Quintana, 1-0; 138 — Kaden Hixson, 1-0; 144 — Eli Fredrickson, 4-1; 150 — Aron Aguilar, 4-1; 157 — Zach Hedman, 4-1; 165 — Michael Voloshin, 5-0; 175 — Blake Hill, 4-1; 190 — Billy Lawton, 5-0

Olathe JV Tournament

132 — Tate Green, 2-1, 2nd; 138 — Colt Call, 4-2, 4th; 150 — Jimi Jimenez, 2-1, 2nd; 190 — Cyrus Goldsmith, 3-0, 1st

Greeley West Tournament

100 — Hilliana Herrera, 0-2; 105 Adrianna Price, 3-2, 4th; 110 — Genesis Suarez, 0-2; Mikah Vasquez, 2-2; 125 — HayLee Staker, 0-2; 135 — Kayla Deaton, 1-2; 140 — Cydny Witherell, 0-2; 155 — Maddie Soper, 1-2; Makaela Simpson, 2-1, 2nd; 235 — Kenleigh Pubanz, 2-2, 4th

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