Moffat County wrestling opens Season B in style, topping Grand Valley 54-22 |

Moffat County wrestling opens Season B in style, topping Grand Valley 54-22

The Bulldogs dominated the latter stages of Tuesday’s meet, benefiting from three consecutive forfeits and four straight pin falls

Moffat County wrestler Billy Lawton gains top control against a Grand Valley wrestler Tuesday night. Lawton recorded a pin fall against the Cardinals. (Andy Bockelman / For Craig Press)

After a long wait to hit the mat again as members of the Moffat County Bulldogs’ wrestling team, the local grapplers kicked off Season B in style Tuesday night, rolling to a convincing 54-22 win over the visiting Grand Valley Cardinals.

Tuesday’s win came with a lot of blood, some sweat and a handful of tears. Prior to the match, Moffat County celebrated seniors Daniel Cruz and Blake Juergens, as Tuesday’s match is the lone home match of the season.

Moffat County senior Daniel Cruz is honored prior to the start of Tuesday's match against Grand Valley. (Max O’Neill / Craig Press)
Moffat County senior Blake Juergens is honored on Senior Night prior to the start of Tuesday’s match against Grand Valley. (Andy Bockelman / For Craig Press)

Senior Night was also the first Moffat County High School sporting event to be held since the revised ruling came down that allowed each wrestler could have two fans at the game. The rule reversal allowed the parents of Juergens and Cruz to come down and take pictures on the mat with their sons.

“It means a lot to me. They’ve always been my number one fans and my Grandma K, who is at home,” Cruz said. “She couldn’t come unfortunately because of COVID, but she’s been my number one fan as well.”

Following the Senior Night ceremony, the Bulldogs came out strong on the mat and benefited late from four forfeits by Grand Valley in the dual meet.

The Bulldogs benefited greatly from three forfeits in a row followed by four pin falls in favor of the blue and black. sophomore Michael Voloshin, junior Pepper Rhyne, freshman Blake Hill and sophomore Billy Lawton recorded wins by pin fall Tuesday night, leading Moffat County on the mat.

Those pins were something that coach Seislove highlighted as their biggest strength in this match.

“I think on top, we rode guys really hard, we got a lot of pins,” Seislove said. “Which if you want to win tournaments and big matches you gotta pin guys when you can.”

While he was celebrated on Senior Night, Juergens didn’t get a chance to compete on the mat one final time at home due to a Grand Valley forfeit in his weight class.

That didn’t dampen his mood though as he was thrilled the Bulldogs closed the night with a team win.

“It feels pretty good, leave this gym like with a W, you know? I don’t want to leave knowing our last home duel was a loss, at least my last home dual,” Juergens said. “It feels good.”

As things returned to some normalcy on the mat for the wrestlers, it was a different scene in the stands as the crowd was limited to two parents per wrestler, making for a small home crowd.

The parents were excited to be there, many screaming instructions to their sons throughout the meet. One of the most active parents was Cody Duran, the father of junior Anthony and freshman Noah Duran. Duran has been a big supporter of his kid’s wrestling careers as they have grown up through the years.

“Yeah, I’m really happy that we get to be here in person to watch. Unfortunately this weekend, when we the kids go to Valley, we don’t get to be there for that one,” Duran said. “That is going to be hard because that is probably going to be the first time in as long as I can remember that I have not gotten to watch my kids wrestle, that I have sent them off without me. That’s going to be hard.”

As the parents adjust to the new restrictions for fans, keeping them away from matches, the players look to kick it into high gear in a shortened season where each match has higher stakes.

Moffat County returns to the mat Saturday at Valley High School for a tri-dual with Valley and Estes Park.

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