Moffat County wrestlers return to the mat Tuesday night against Grand Valley |

Moffat County wrestlers return to the mat Tuesday night against Grand Valley

Moffat County High School's Anthony Duran stays on his toes against Woodland Park's Brady Hankin during the 3A CHSAA State Championships in 2020. (Shelby Reardon / Steamboat Pilot & Today)

The long layoff is finally over.

For the first time since the state tournament last February, grapplers from Moffat County will return to the mat Tuesday night for the first — and only — home match of the season.

Tuesday’s battle with the Grand Valley Cardinals, starting at 5 p.m., will serve as “Senior Night” for the Bulldogs. The team will be wrestling at Moffat County High School in front of two fans per wrestler.

Last season, the team finished 16th out of 51 teams at the state tournament, a number they hope to improve upon this season.

“I am just ready to wrestle and I think all the other guys are ready to wrestle and get the season rolling here,” head coach Tyler Seislove said. “It feels like we’ve been waiting forever to finally get our chance to wrestle.”

After the loss of Daniel Caddy, the team will be relying on sophomore Kaden Hixson and juniors Caden Call and Anthony Duran. The team will also be led by a senior class of Blake Juergens and Daniel Cruz, and sees the return of key junior Pepper Rhyne, and sophomores Billy Lawton and Michael Voloshin.

Hixson, Call and Duran all wrestled in the Tournament of Champions in Vernal, Utah on Jan 8. They went a combined 7-6 in the respective weight classes at that tournament. A record that the team hopes to improve upon coming into what expects to be a challenging season for the Bulldogs.

“With the way this year has been going, who knows when you will be missing certain wrestlers and how it will make it more difficult at certain points in the season,” Seislove said.

In the lead up to this meet, practice for the team has been hard work, but upbeat for the team. They have been working on take down defense, among other things, in the lead up to a schedule that sees them have eight meets in 33 days.

“I think they are very excited. You can definitely tell in practice everybody is upbeat, everybody is feeling good. They are feeling fresh; they are all ready to go,” Seislove said. “You have a lot of guys making a lot of sacrifices to improve and get as much practice time in as possible. I think our team is very hungry to go out there and really show off how good they can be this season.”

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