Moffat County wrestlers reign as regional champs
Bulldogs win tournament, prepare to send eight to state
Simply put, Moffat County High School wrestling had a great weekend. wrestling had a great weekend.
MCHS claimed the 3A Region 1 team title Saturday during the regional tournament in Buena Vista, with one individual champion, eight state qualifiers and 11 total athletes making it to the podium, tallying 196 points according to Trackwrestling.
Miki Klimper, Elias Peroulis, Hugo Hernandez, Chris Moschetti, Karson Cox, Daniel Caddy, Drake Zimmerman and Toryn Hume all will represent Moffat County during the 3A State Championships Feb. 16 to 18 in Denver at the Pepsi Center.
“It’s been our best tournament of the year so far,” said assistant coach Daniel Cramblett.
Cramblett said he and head coach Tanner Linsacum weren’t necessarily expecting to take the top slot among the 14 teams at the onset, yet it became apparent that with their wrestlers doing as well as they were, the points added up greatly.
Klimper had the top finish for the Bulldogs with three straight wins, culminating in a pin of Rifle’s Alex Cordova, the top-ranked 3A 170-pound wrestler in the region and the state.
Taking second in their weight classes were Moschetti (120), Elias Peroulis (182) and Hernandez (195), each finishing the weekend 2-1 following opening bye rounds. After being eliminated from championship contention in the quarterfinals, Cox (106) and Caddy (113) worked their way through the lower weight classes to claim third, Cox 3-1 and Caddy 5-1.
Drake Zimmerman (152) had more matches than anyone, ultimately 5-2 in competition. Though he lost the third-place match to Delta’s Chance Dillingham, an earlier win against Centauri’s Brian Shawcroft automatically gave the Bulldog fourth place when the two were paired again.
The same scenario played out for Toryn Hume, who was 2-2 in a sparse 220 class, taking fourth and a ticket to state.
While Greg Hixson (145) and Connor Winn (160) each were 0-2 for the weekend, other athletes were heartbreakingly close to state. The fourth-place-by-default rule worked against three Bulldogs as Ryan Zimmerman (126), Ethan Powers (132) and John T Peroulis (138) each found themselves in fifth-place and out of the running for state due to being matched with an opponent that had previously beaten them.
Ryan Zimmerman was 4-2 in competition, Powers 3-2 and John T Peroulis 2-2, not counting byes or losses by rule.
Nevertheless, the points picked up in the consolation bracket were invaluable, Cramblett said.
“They’re the ones who won it for us on the back side,” he said.
The coming week in sports for Craig and Moffat County.