Moffat County wrestling places 3 in Warrior Classic
GRAND JUNCTION — Of the three final bouts involving Moffat County High School grapplers, only one saw actual competition, but none of the Bulldogs were complaining with the outcome Saturday night.
Three MCHS wrestlers made it to the podium for Central High School’s Warrior Classic, as senior Daniel Caddy placed third in the 152-pound class and Kaden Hixson and Caden Call each fifth in the 106 and 113 weights, respectively.
Caddy also took the bronze at Warrior in 2018, but the finish this time was far different, as he won via an injury forfeit by Paonia’s Zeb Etter, who had defeated him in the championship quarterfinals.
The lack of a rematch was both a positive and a negative for Caddy, who was happy with the win but frustrated he couldn’t face the Eagle again.
“The only reason he beat me in the first one was my mistakes. He didn’t score a single point on his own,” Caddy said. “I was just wrestling things before they were set up and trying to be too aggressive.”
The defeat to Etter was the first loss Caddy has taken so far in a 13-1 run that included consolation bracket wins Saturday with a pin, a 6-1 decision and 9-1 major over Battle Mountain, Rocky Mountain and Hotchkiss opponents.
Call also only had to suit up and have his hand raised in triumph as Alamosa’s Brandon Reveles threw in the towel due to an earlier injury. Call moved to 15-6 with the forfeit, going 3-1 overall Saturday, pinning Olathe’s Caleb Bachman, and sneaking past Uintah’s Raiden Harrison 6-5 before an 8-0 major by Cedaredge’s Lane Hunsberger knocked him out of third-place.
As for Hixson, his round with Kilian Schultz of Severence went precisely as planned, earning a second-period pin for victory.
Hixson had the best chance among his teammates for a championship after Friday, the only Bulldog to move into the semifinals. However, eventual 106 runner-up Lance Johnson of Rocky Mountain pinned him in the second period.
To add insult to injury — Hixson caught some bruising around his eye and some damage to his nose — a 16-11 decision went to Eagle Valley’s Mathew Medina in the consolation semis.
“That kid was really strong and fast, and the next kid had really good technique,” Hixson said.
Nevertheless, the Moffat County freshman said he’s learned much after the weekend, his record now 18-2.
“I need to get lower and off my heels and always be cautious but fighting,” he said.
Of the six Bulldogs who were still standing after Friday, half of them went down swinging early Saturday. Anthony Duran (120) and Pepper Rhyne (160) each gave up a pin in their final match to finish the tourney 2-2 and 3-2 respectively.
Dagan White (138) just missed the Warrior podium in what was a 3-2 weekend, defeating Steamboat Springs’ Tucker Havel 7-5 only to trail Fruita Monument’s Jacob Kiefer 10-7 to finish just outside of the top six.
Overall, the MCHS wrestling team scored 94 points and placed ninth among the 43 total schools from across multiple states.
The top 10 finish was just fine in the view of head coach Tyler Seislove.
“That’s great with how young we are,” he said. “We’re really getting there.”
With most teams at the Warrior Classic sending their junior varsity to the Fruita Monument JV Invite, the additional Bulldogs had a strong showing with 11, including Brody Wiser, who swept through the 106 bracket with three straight pins.
A 9-0 loss in the 138 semifinals only made Blake Juergens work harder from there, earning third place with back-to-back falls over Montrose and Central competitors.
In his first weekend competing with MCHS grappling, Sean Byers took fourth in the 145 class, 4-2 overall, each of his wins by pin.
Though he’s primarily been in JV events this season, Alex Black (152) said he’s been able to glean plenty of information to work out his technique.
“That very first tournament really set me up with the confidence that I needed,” he said.
Wrestlers will be back in competition in the coming weeks, hosting a dual against Rifle Jan. 9 before the following weekend’s Tournament of Champions in Vernal, Utah.
“For now we’re gonna get rested up and get healthy because we’re a little worn down now,” Seislove said. “We’re just gonna keep doing what we’re doing, crank things up, make sure we’re peaking at the right time, compete for state in the second half of the season.”
Varsity — Warrior Classic
Weight — Wrestler, meet record; details; early season record
106 — Kaden Hixson, 4-2; 3 pins, 5th place; 18-2
113 — Caden Call, 5-2; 3 pins, 5th place; 15-6
120 — Anthony Duran, 2-2; 1 pin; 12-6
126 — Dario Alexander, 1-2; 1 pin; 1-2
132 — Ryan Duzik, 2-2; 2 pins; 13-5
138 — Dagan White, 3-2; 1 pin; 11-5
145 — Coltyn Terry, 0-2; 2-6
152 — Daniel Caddy, 5-1; 2 pins, 3rd place; 13-1
160 — Pepper Rhyne, 3-2; 1 pin; 15-4
170 — Michael Voloshin, 2-2; 7-3
182 — Daniel Cruz, 2-2, 2 pins; 6-12
Junior varsity — Fruita Monument JV Invite
106 — Brody Wiser, 4-0; 4 pins, 1st place
126 — Trace Fredrickson, 0-2
138 — Blake Juergens, 4-1; 3 pins, 3rd place
145 — Sean Byers, 4-2; 4 pins, 4th place
152 — Alex Black, 0-2