Moffat County wrestling locks into determination | CraigDailyPress.com

Moffat County wrestling locks into determination

It's not uncommon to see Moffat County High School wrestlers at the state tournament year after year, and it won't be long before the young athletes pin down the best way to return there.

Now in his second year coaching for the MCHS program, Tanner Linsacum has a greater frame of reference about his team's abilities than he did last winter, and he already knows what some of the high points of the season will be.

Some of the best bouts, he expect, will be found within the region.

"Northwest Colorado is always fun, and we look forward to those duals with Meeker, Hayden and Steamboat," Linsacum said. "Those will all be good for rivalry's sake."

Outside of the 50-mile radius , the team will see plenty of competition, as well, and the Bulldogs will be meeting some new opponents this year.

"Delta's now in 3A, they've moved down, and they're coming up here, so that'll be a fun dual," he said. "I'm looking forward to seeing how that is because they're a top 10 team right now, and we can see how we compete against the best."

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Steamboat and Rifle also are former 4A teams that will be in Moffat’s classification this year after restructuring.

Only two seniors are on the squad including veteran Ashlee Griffiths and Tanner Gilliland, who is new to the school, but neither will be participating in the opening event in Granby. Linsacum's roster is heavy with underclassmen, but those who are returning to the team already have shown improvement.

"I think the younger guys have matured, our freshmen (last year) are now sophomores and tougher and a little more physical hopefully, and sophomores that are now juniors, I'm hoping for bigger things like a leadership role as well as competing against the best, and I'm hoping to see some state placers out of that class," he said.

Juniors Issik Herod, Brett Loyd and Stelios Peroulis each qualified for state last season and are expected to be contenders this year in their weight classes.

"They qualify as sophomores, place as juniors and then win it as seniors," Linsacum said. "That's the kind of path we'd like to take."

Peroulis said he has dropped in weight this season, focusing on being lean and mean.

"I was at 190 for football, and I'm about 170 now," he said. "I've been doing a lot of lifting over the summer for strength. We've all been working on that, and it's really helped out the team."

Strength and speed are must-haves on the mat, but it's the ability to think fast, react and counter opponents that's the biggest asset.

"You've just got to use your head," Peroulis said.

Sophomore Hugo Hernandez said he expects the opening tournament to jolt the team into shape. Some will be able to handle it, others will be worn out by the first round, and he hopes to be part of the latter.

"I'm looking forward to improving and just being better than last year, trying to get to state," he said.

Although he would love to have all his athletes go all the way, Linsacum said the goal is to have steady progress during the next few months among all wrestlers.

"We want to work hard, outwork everybody, compete in every match and finish every match win or lose," he said.

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

Moffat County High School varsity wrestling team schedule

Dec. 6 — Middle Park Tournament, away

Dec. 10 — Steamboat Springs Duals, home

Dec. 12 — Hotchkiss, away

Dec. 13 — Grand Junction Duals, away

Dec. 18 — Thunderbird High School Duals, home

Dec. 19, 20 — Grand Junction Warrior Classic, away

Jan. 6 — Hayden Duals, away

Jan. 13 — Meeker Duals, away

Jan. 16, 17 — Green River Duals, away

Jan. 20 — Coal Ridge Duals, home

Jan. 24 — Rifle Duals, away

Jan. 29 — Grand Valley Tri-Meet, away

Jan. 31 — Delta/Meeker Tri-Meet, home

Feb. 7 — Eaton Duals, away

Feb. 13, 14 — Regional Tournament, away

Feb. 19, 20, 21 — State Tournament, away

Due to scheduling conflicts, Jan. 31’s home meet will be held at Craig Middle School. All events are subject to change.

Moffat County High School junior varsity wrestling schedule

Date(s) — Event, Home/Away

Dec. 6 — Olathe Tournament, away

Dec. 10 — Steamboat Springs Duals, home

Dec. 13 — Rifle Tournament, away

Dec. 20 — West Grand Tournament, away

Jan. 6 — Hayden Duals, away

Jan. 13 — Meeker Duals, away

Jan. 24 — Rangely Tournament, away

Feb. 5 — Grand Junction, away

All events are subject to change.