Moffat County wrestlers sweep Hayden to wrap up early season
- 106, Dagan White/Kyler Campbell — MCHS pin, 0:55
- 113, Slater Durbin/Payton Planansky — MCHS pin, 2:49
- 120, Karson Cox/Taylor Powell — MCHS pin, 3:03
- 126, Coltyn Terry/Wyatt Murphy — MCHS decision, 11-4
- 132, Chris Moschetti/Wade Hendricks — MCHS pin, 1:38
- 138, Daniel Caddy/Keenan Hayes — MCHS decision, 8-6
- 145, Ethan Powers/Jesse Ciufo — MCHS pin, 3:13
- 152, Greg Hixson/Jacob Planansky — MCHS decision, 8-6
- 160, Connor Winn/None — MCHS win by forfeit
- 170, Miki Klimper/None — MCHS win by forfeit
- 182, Elias Peroulis/Hunter Planansky — MCHS decision, 6-0
- 285, Toryn Hume/None — MCHS win by forfeit
CRAIG — If Northwest Colorado wrestling bears any similarity to holiday music, it’s the tail end of “The 12 Days of Christmas” — five pins, four decisions, three forfeits, two teams, one big night for the Bulldogs.
In its first home dual of the season and final event of 2017, Moffat County High School went all out to create a show for wrestling spectators, winning 60-0 Thursday against the Hayden Tigers.
MCHS had the advantage in pure numbers, with 18 of their points coming from uncontested matches as Connor Winn (160 pounds), Miki Klimper (170) and Toryn Hume (285) went unchallenged by Hayden.
The two groups both had open slots at 195 and 220.
But, the Tigers made the Dogs earn their victories, starting with a 145 matchup between Ethan Powers and Jesse Ciufo, which Powers won with a fall in the second round.
Greg Hixson then went up against Jacob Planansky, with the Hayden competitor taking an early lead over Hixson, finishing the first round ahead 5-0.
“After that, I realized I really needed to step it up,” Hixson said.
Hixson suddenly exploded in the next period, overtaking his opponent physically and in terms of points with a late reversal and was only seconds from getting him pinned when the buzzer sounded, leading 6-5.
Hixson earned another takedown in the following round, while Planansky had an escape, but the win went to Moffat County at 8-6.
Hixson noted that he hadn’t even been expecting to compete that night.
“I wasn’t ready for that at all. Before the match, I went out and didn’t shake hands with anyone,” he said, adding he only found out later that Planansky would be wrestling up from the 145 class.
Another change took place shortly after when Hunter Planansky, who was scheduled to wrestle Klimper, opted to compete against Elias Peroulis at the 182 weight.
A surprised Peroulis came off the bench cold but walked back off the mat with a 6-0 decision.
“He wasn’t ready, and that was probably my fault, I should have warned him that could happen,” MCHS coach Dennis Fredrickson said. “Hunter’s a tough kid, but you’ve got to pick your poison between Miki and Elias. You won’t find an easy match there.”
This week saw Klimper ranked second among 3A 170-pound wrestlers and Peroulis third in 182 by On the Mat.
As the action circled back to the lower weights, matches started getting quicker. At 106, Dagan White took the fastest win of the evening, pinning Kyler Campbell in 55 seconds. In their first varsity event, 113’s Slater Durbin and 126’s Coltyn Terry each picked up a win as Durbin took a fall over Payton Planansky and Terry battled it out with Wyatt Murphy to finish with the 11-4 decision, flipping Murphy and nearly taking the pin in the second round before time expired.
“Those JV guys filled in really well, they made it work,” Fredrickson said. “Slater did great, and Coltyn has wrestled that kid before (in middle school) and beat him before, but you never know.”
Though both had to sit out the past weekend’s Warrior Classic to heal from injuries, Karson Cox and Chris Moschetti were right back in the thick of it at 120 and 132, respectively, each picking up six points with pins of Taylor Powell and Wade Hendricks.
The final match of the night was the 138 meeting of Moffat County’s Daniel Caddy and Hayden’s Keenan Hayes, each of whom were highly ranked in this week’s standings from On the Mat — Caddy third in 3A and Hayes fourth in 2A.
“We knew that would be a tough one,” Fredrickson said of Hayes. “He’s a freshman, but he’s a very talented kid. Daniel wrestled a good match.”
The closest bout of the evening was a struggle for both athletes, though Caddy held the 8-6 advantage after the opening round. Neither gave the other much of an opening from there, and the result was no more points for either as Caddy made it to the end for the win.
“I thought we fought pretty hard, but we weren’t running our techniques the way we know how,” said Hayden coach Chad Jones. “The score doesn’t really show how hard the guys battled. It was a rough night, but we’re a young squad.”
Jones said he was pleased with how “back and forth” most matches were.
“We could have fought a little bit harder, but we’re in Craig and they’re protecting their home turf,” he said.
Likewise, Fredrickson said Hayden provided excellent competition for the night.
“We had a little more quantity, but hey have some great quality, and we just stacked up real well against them,” he said.
Both teams will have a substantial break over the holidays, with Hayden back in the fold Jan. 5 and 6 at an Eagle Valley tournament, followed by a Jan. 11 home dual with Steamboat Springs.
The Bulldogs will host Basalt Jan. 9 and will compete the following weekend in Vernal, Utah at the Tournament of Champions, where they may see the Tigers again.
Fredrickson said he expects to have his full roster in fighting shape in January with conditioning leading to more demanding workouts.
“Once we come back it’ll intensify and pick up a bunch,” he said. “I think the kids are ready for it.”
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There is a chill in the air, and snow covers the ground outside a farmhouse west of Hayden as Noah Price and Sydney Ellbogen talk about the operations of Mountain Bluebird Farm.