Ready for regionals |

Ready for regionals

Wrestlers warm up in Moffat County

John Vandelinder

— Rifle, Eagle Valley, Steamboat Springs and Moffat County competed Thursday in Craig, in a meet all of the coaches said would be used as a preview of the upcoming regional tournament.

The visitors will return next Saturday, as Moffat County hosts the regional tournament this year.

Regardless of the day’s results, the teams will be back next weekend with a trip to the state championship.

Forfeits dominated the landscape, as only about half the matches were wrestled because of weight-class shortages.

First, the teams had to get through Thursday’s four-team dual.

Host Moffat County finished 3-0, defeating Steamboat Springs 57-10 in the day’s first dual meet.

Steamboat (0-1) brought just three wrestlers on the trip, combining to win two of the matches, but the lack of competitors cost the Sailors in the team results.

“It’s difficult to wrestle with just three guys,” Sailors coach Sean McCarthy said. “But, it is what it is. We are going to use this meet as a way to get some insight into what we will face next week. We’re taking our lumps as far as numbers go, but in time, Steamboat Springs wrestling will be restored.”

In the night’s second dual, the Bulldogs dispatched Eagle Valley, 42-21.

“We did something well,” Bulldogs assistant coach Ron Linsacum said. “It really doesn’t matter if we won or lost. We just want to see them put some stuff together and stay off the mat. Next week is when it counts the most. Tonight we are just trying to get a feel for what’s coming up.”

Rifle (1-1) took down Eagle Valley (0-2), 42-31 in the third dual, and Devils coach Ron Beard echoed his fellow coaches’ sentiments about the end result.

“This is more of a tune-up,” Beard said. “I don’t really look at the team results. For the most part, I’m pleased with what the team did. We did some good things out there on the mat and had some really good matches. We have stuff to work on, but we are leaving here healthy and we’ll be back next week ready to roll in the regionals.”

In the evening’s last dual event, the Bulldogs defeated Rifle, 36-32, in a tightly contested battle that came down to the last match.

“I am pleased and disappointed with how things turned out,” Bears coach John Wisniewski said. “We didn’t have a full squad and it hurt us. This time of the season is critical. You want to wrestle as many people as you can, but you also don’t want to get anybody injured. We’ll take it and turn it around for next week.”

Linsacum was the most upbeat of the four coaches.

“An undefeated” record, he said, “is always nice.”

John Vandelinder can be reached at 824-7031, ext. 211, or

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