Moffat County wrestlers clobber Cowboys in win over Meeker
Nearly every varsity wrestling match Tuesday night in the Moffat County High School gym gained six points one way or another, but even without putting a half-dozen points on the scoreboard, Isiaih Herod didn’t leave fans up in the air as to which was the most exciting bout of the night.
MCHS wrestlers won 65-12 against their regional rivals Meeker in a midweek dual that saw the Bulldogs refreshed, revitalized and ready to rumble.
Daniel Caddy began the lineup at 138 pounds, hoping to settle a score with the Cowboys’ Tannen Kennedy, who defeated him twice during December’s Warrior Classic. Kennedy was unable to attend the event, so Caddy did the next best thing, pinning Kennedy’s teammate, Christopher Strate, 76 seconds into the bout.
Ethan Powers followed suit at 145 with a fall against Tevin Pelloni late in the second round, while 152’s Drake Zimmerman took a huge 10-3 lead to start his match with Jake Shelton, moving on to 17-3 in the second round before pinning him in the third.
Moving up to the 160 class, Greg Hixson struggled against James Amick, trailing the Cowboy 5-4 in the first round and narrowly avoiding a defeat in the second, only for Amick to wrap him up for good nine seconds into the third.
“Greg’s been sick, and I think that kind of affected him tonight, he was just a little bit slow on things,” MCHS coach Dennis Fredrickson said.
The Bulldog momentum came back quickly as 170’s Miki Klimper made short work of Kesston Hobbs with a first-round fall that only took 34 seconds, and Toryn Hume controlled his 220 match-up with Ridge Williams, gaining the pin with 31 seconds to go in the second period.
Meeker went into double digits with a decisive win at 120 for Jacob Pelloni against Moffat County’s Blake Juergens, but it was Charles Curry who was getting some height in the 126 bout.
Bulldog Isiaih Herod twice got Curry up off the mat and onto his shoulder with his favorite move, the fireman’s carry, providing the element of surprise.
“It takes their breath out of them, and I can do whatever I want since it kind of scares them,” he said.
Herod already had the lead 14-5 in the first round, and the official gave him the technical fall at 18-6 as the second period closed.
The night came full circle as 132’s Chris Moschetti gained the final pin of the night against Meeker’s Zach McCann following a 12-3 advantage in the opening round.
Moffat County also took four wins by forfeit for Dagan White (106), Slater Durbin (113), Elias Peroulis (182) and Jefferson Piatt (195).
Junior varsity competition was more on Meeker’s side, as Moffat County’s only JV win came from a pin by Coltyn Terry, while Jeremiah Ziegler lost by 9-5 decision, and Keaton Durbin, Brock Hartung, Connor Winn and Daniel Cruz ended with a defeat by fall.
“They were missing their (starting) 32 and 38 kids tonight, which would have been real good matches for us, but that’s the fate of wrestling — just go with you’ve got and who they’ve got,” Fredrickson said. “I was really pleased with how they wrestled, a lot of things we’ve been working on are really starting to come together.”
Fredrickson noted the competition with the Cowboys is one of the biggest drivers for the Bulldogs year after year.
“They’re down a little bit, but they’re always ready to go, and every kid gives us a lot,” he said.
MCHS hits the road Thursday to meet Soroco in Oak Creek, with the coming weekend devoted to the Valley Viking Invitational in Gilcrest.
Valley themselves will be trouble, ranked third among 3A schools, Fredrickson noted, as well as No. 2 Eaton, who will be at the tournament.
“It’ll really be a great test for us, especially at some individual weights,” he said. “Some of our top kids will really get pushed there.”