Moffat County wrestlers slam Coal Ridge, 61-12 |

Moffat County wrestlers slam Coal Ridge, 61-12

Andy Bockelman
Moffat County High School's Indy Byrnes wraps up Coal Ridge's Noah Gurule Friday night at MCHS in Craig. Moffat County won the meet, 61-12, pinning six of the Titans.
Andy Bockelman

Everything clicked this week for the wrestlers of Moffat County High School as they took to the mat with a singular goal of walking out of the gym victorious.

The Bulldogs dominated the visiting Coal Ridge High School Titans, 61-12, in a Tuesday evening dual that saw the team fight hard and in many cases, finish off their opponents fast.

Out of the nine Moffat County varsity competitors, six of them took their wins by fall — Jay Carrico (106 pounds), Drake Zimmerman (132), Indy Byrnes (138), Miki Klimper (160), Stelios Peroulis (170) and Tanner Gilliland (195).

“They wrestled tough, just like I expected,” said coach Tanner Linsacum. “January’s a tough month, but we’ve been working hard.”

126-pound Issik Herod saw some fierce competition in Coal Ridge’s Lane Nelson, with the Titan taking the first round, 6-2, but Herod showed he’s not ranked seventh in the state for nothing, returning the favor in the second round and going full blast in the third, only denied the win by pin thanks to the clock, ahead, 10-9, to give his team a well-earned three points.

Hugo Hernandez (152) took control against Eddy Baez, outlasting him throughout three rounds, 12-2, while forfeiture in the 285-pound category got Coal Ridge its only other points of the night beyond a pin by Jacx Power over Elias Peroulis in the 145 bout.

Showcasing both the team’s collective capabilities and those of each individual, the meet showed displayed the kind of effort everyone has put forth this season, Linsacum said.

“They’re starting to learn, starting to push, and they’re a great group of kids,” he said.

Tuesday served as the wrestling team’s senior night, as the squad honored its upperclassmen, including team manager Couri Blevins, as well as Ashlee Griffiths, who has been unable to compete this season after surgery to remover her gallbladder.

Gilliland has been the lone senior this year to compete in his first year at MCHS since moving to Craig from Alabama. As he moves toward a goal of appearing at state, he said he couldn’t have asked for a better group with which to share the experience.

“The team has accepted me better than I hoped,” he said. “It’s a great town that can accept somebody from a whole other state like that.”

Gilliland added that he’s feeling stronger than ever at this point and hopes to “improve tenfold” as the schedule continues.

The Moffat County wrestlers will take to Rifle this weekend for another set of duals, one of their opponents being Coal Ridge, in addition to Delta and Glenwood Springs.

The Bulldogs’ final home meet will take place Jan. 31, a triangular with Delta and Meeker, held at Craig Middle School.

Contact Andy Bockelman at 970-875-1793 or or follow him on Twitter @CDP_Sports.

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