Moffat County wrestlers see success in rescheduling as Bulldogs hit Meeker Duals
A change of venue and a smaller roster than expected were among the obstacles the Moffat County High School wrestling team faced in its final competition of the regular season, but never let it be said that the Bulldogs can’t cope with pressure.
MCHS went 4-1 during Saturday’s Meeker Duals as grapplers faced some familiar faces in the lead-in to the 3A Region 1 Tournament.
With the Rumble in Rawlins canceled due to numerous schools in Wyoming backing out of the tournament, the Dogs nearly had an empty slate.
However, the travel troubles of other teams helped them out as Glenwood Springs was unable to make the trip to Meeker, leaving a last-minute opportunity for MoCo to fill out the ranks with the Cowboys.
Sorted into the Meeker Duals’ C pool, MCHS swept the first three sets of matches with wins of 32-16 over Hayden, 39-30 over Palisade and 42-36 with Hotchkiss.
From there, the Dogs progressed to the tourney’s gold pool with Rifle and Meeker. A 37-30 W against the Bears put them up against their hosts, though a team rematch with Meeker saw the Cowboys settle the score with a 48-29 victory.
With much of the team still recovering from injuries and illness, MoCo only took eight athletes to the tourney, a common theme among most of the schools in attendance.
In other words, a lot of forfeits.
“We weren’t really focused on team performance as much as getting individuals some competition to really get tuned up for regionals,” head coach Tyler Seislove said. “We were really lucky that everything came together the way it did.”
The only Bulldog to compete in every dual was 160-pounder Pepper Rhyne, going 5-0 for the day with one pin, decisions of 13-11 and 11-4, a 19-11 major decision, and a 15-0 technical fall.
As the only member of the team to compete against Hotchkiss, Rhyne secured the group win with a second period fall of Ethan Guy.
While Michael Voloshin (170) went 5-0 purely by forfeits, Kaden Hixson (106) and Caden Call (113) saw both contests and gimmes alike for five wins.
Hixson pinned both Meeker’s Trae Kennedy and Hayden’s Kodi Ingols in his only competitions, while Call took majors of 9-0 and 16-2 over Meeker and Hayden foes with a fall over Palisade’s Jacob Lee.
Daniel Caddy (152) took three wins, with two falls and a 10-2 major but stepped out of competition for two rounds.
At 132, Blake Juergens was 4-1 overall with two forfeits, 10-2 against Meeker’s Tyson Portwood following a 12-3 defeat to Hayden’s Dylan Zimmerman.
“Hayden we really matched up well with. The only ones we lost were to Dylan Zimmerman and Hunter Planansky, and they’re some of the top ranked guys in their classes,” Seislove.
At 3-2, Anthony Duran (120) was on the wrong side of two pins but also gained a fall of his own over Meeker’s Rowdy Rosendahl. Billy Lawton (182) fought against highly ranked 2A seniors Hunter Planansky and Colby Clatterbaugh in two defeats but went 15-7 in a major decision over Rifle’s Corey Edwards.
With the roster for Feb. 14 and 15’s regional event in Montrose mostly determined but not absolutely finalized allowing for health, Seislove said the latest effort by wrestlers was just what he wanted to see.
“I was impressed with all the guys. Seems like they’re doing what they have to do here at the end of the season,” he said.