Rifle dual proves promising for Moffat County wrestling | CraigDailyPress.com

Rifle dual proves promising for Moffat County wrestling

Bulldogs take 45-23 win over Bears, celebrate seniors, look to regionals

Moffat County High School wrestler Mikinzie Klimper checks with the ref as he works toward getting a pin against Rifle's Ethan Strouse Thursday at MCHS. The Bulldogs won the dual against the Bears, 45-23, their last meet at home before attending the regional tournament in Montrose.

When there's one last chance to prove yourself in front of your fans, you better bet you'll do all you can to make it count.

Moffat County High SchoolMoffat County High School wrestling had the home crowd in hysterics Thursday night with a 45-23 win against Rifle, the final event home or otherwise for the Bulldogs in their regular season leading up to the regional tournament. wrestling had the home crowd in hysterics Thursday night with a 45-23 win against Rifle, the final event home or otherwise for the Bulldogs in their regular season leading up to the regional tournament.

Moffat County High School wrestling had the home crowd in hysterics Thursday night with a 45-23 win against Rifle, the final event home or otherwise for the Bulldogs in their regular season leading up to the regional tournament.

Junior varsity Dogs dug in to the opposing Bears to start, with Tristin Walls pinning Rifle's Bryant Esparza and Ethan Powers and Toryn Hume each getting a win by decision.

"It's not quite as good as I wanted," admitted Hume, an MCHS sophomore, who defeated Pedro Guardado, 8-4, nearly claiming a fall in what will likely be his last match of the year. "I've gotten a lot of W's this year, so it's so much better than last season."

The varsity bunch took the mat next, starting with an acknoledgement of Moffat County seniors. Among the upperclassmen involved with the team this year have been Javier Aguirre, Brett Loyd, Stelios Peroulis, Trevor Kuhn and Issik Herod, as well as manager Kayanna Klimper.

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Matches were quick and decisive starting with the lowest weights as Bulldog Isaiah Herod pinned Rifle's Jose Quinones in a matter of 52 seconds, while the Bears' Carlos Esparza took a 9-6 decision over Jay Carrico.

Colt Rohrig, ranked 14th in 3A's 126-pound class, took a fall against John T Peroulis, but Issik Herod, 11th in 132, had Brian De La Rosa on his back in 36 seconds.

From there, the middle of the roster got a thunderous response from the crowd as Ryan Zimmerman started off a bout with Lucas May down, 6-1, right away, only to come back little by little in points with an escape here and a reverse and a takedown there, until he won it, 11-8.

"He's battled this year, filling that spot, bumped up a bit of weight," said Daniel Cramblett, MCHS assistant coach, of the come-from-behind triumph. "It was good for him, good for the crowd, good when something like that goes your way."

Jefferson Piatt ran into trouble against Rifle's Alex Cordova, losing by a second-round technical fall, while Bulldogs Drake Zimmerman and Mikinzie Klimper each outlasted Miguel Cordova and Ethan Strouse, respectively — Cordova 11th in 152 and Strouse ninth to Klimper's fourth in 170.

The most contentious and closest ranked match of the night was in the 182 bracket between Moffat County's Hugo Hernandez — ranked eighth — and Rifle's Jacob Henderson — No. 6 — Henderson gaining the victory by a 9-3 decision to put an end to Hernandez's recent win streak.

Seniors Loyd and Stelios Peroulis finished out the night promptly with falls against Tyler Bosshardt and Adan Perez, the latter an example of Stelios grappling up into the highest weight class of 285 in order to get one more round before regionals since Rifle had no one available at 220 pounds.

Coaches Tanner Linsacum, Mark Voloshin, Mark Zimmerman and Cramblett were happy to get in one more dual this week, particularly after Tuesday saw the cancellation of a home event with Rawlins, Wyoming.

"To come out and get a win for our seniors was good, especially against a regional opponent, we'll be seeing these guys there," Cramblett said. "We had some good ranked matches, close one with Hugo, but we'll take it and learn from it."

The 3A Region 4 Tournament takes place Feb. 12 and 13 in Montrose, and keeping minds and bodies at peak effectiveness is the priority.

"We want to go into regionals 100 percent healthy," Cramblett said. "We've put in the work, so we're ready to go."

Time will tell how many Bulldogs will leave Montrose with a guaranteed spot at the state tourney the following weekend, with one of the pack a heavy favorite, Stelios ranked second in 3A across the state and the top contender for Region 4's 220-pound lineup.

"It's not going to be an easy walk in the park for me," Stelios said. "I'll have to work for it, that's for sure."

The last meet in the Moffat County gym was nonetheless a memorable one for the senior Bulldog, and though he hopes to go all the way to Denver, the Craig spectators will always be his favorite.

"I'd take home crowd over the Pepsi Center any day," he smiled.

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