Rolling with tradition | CraigDailyPress.com

Rolling with tradition

Nineteen league championships, 14 regional championships and five state titles.

The resume of Moffat County High School wrestling coach Roman Gutierrez reads like video game statistics.

Yet, the future hall-of-famer admits he’s still learning.

He’s learning new wrestling maneuvers, how to deal with new wrestlers and how to build champions.

“I’m a sponge,” he said. “I absorb everything.”

By everything, he means the input he receives from assistant coaches, former coaches and former wrestlers.

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“A lot of the guys I coached before come back to visit and show me new things,” he said. “Some are in college now, or have been. We sort of steal from the college.”

Gutierrez points to the success of his program and explains it a little more.

“All we do here is contributed by a lot of different people,” he said. “People come in here and show us their best stuff. We use that.”

It seems to be working.

“We have our ups and downs, though,” he said. “We’ve just had a lot more ups.”

Gutierrez said the key to his past teams’ successes, and the most important element again this year, is aggressiveness.

“We teach these kids to be very aggressive wrestlers,” he said. “We don’t let them back down. We brainwash them so they believe they are better than the kids they wrestle against.”

Moffat County’s three coaches work on three different areas of wrestling with their pupils.

Gutierrez is the pin coach. His two assistant coaches work on footwork and coming up from the bottom.

“We each focus on an area of expertise,” Gutierrez said. “The team gets better training and more time with a coach.”

Senior Matt Kincheloe returns after placing fifth in the state championship 130-pound category last season. Kincheloe and seniors Cory Vigil and Drew Turner are expected to be the leaders on this year’s squad.

“I preach to them that this team is theirs,” Gutierrez said. “We do our job, you do your job – be seniors and leaders.”

He went on to say how hard his team works and that every one of his wrestlers will never lose because they were out-worked.

“This is a street fight with rules,” he said. “One guy dishes it out, and the other guy takes it. Our guys dish it out.”

Wrestler to watch:

– Matt Kincheloe (Senior) – placed fifth in state championships, 130-pound weight class.

Teams to watch:

– Alamosa, Northridge, Broomfield and Ft. Morgan. All four state ranked teams bring back deep and talented rosters.

Dates to circle

on the schedule:

– Dec. 1 – Moffat County visits Fruita. The Bulldogs travel to face the 5A Wildcats after squeaking out a 3-point victory last season.

– Jan. 11, 2008. – The Bulldogs will head to Nevada to partake in a Las Vegas tournament.

Team information

– League: Western Slope League Class 4A

– Coach: Roman Gutierrez

– Assistants: Ron Linsacum, Mark Voloshin

Gutierrez with the Bulldogs: 26 years (332-37 overall)

– State titles: five, 1985, 1994, 2001, 2002 and 2003

2006-07 season: 7-0 (WSL) 23-5 (overall)

– Returnees: 5

– Wrestlers lost: 9