Wrestlers win fourth consecutive Warrior
Despite only one champion, depth provides key points
After every wrestling competition Moffat County High School wrestling coach Roman Gutierrez records his team’s matches on a computer program at home. After this weekend’s Warrior Classic in Grand Junction, sophomore Scott Garoutte (215) wrestled so much he maxed out Gutierrez’s program.
“It will only print six matches so I had to leave off his seventh one,” Gutierrez said.
Garoutte won his way through the consolation bracket on Saturday and finished with a fourth place finish in what Gutierrez said was one of the toughest tournaments in the season before state. Not bad considering the sophomore has never wrestled a varsity match in his career and had yet to wrestle in competition this season.
“Garoutte really showed us something this weekend,” senior Trevor Sloan said, who moved up to heavyweight from 215 for the weekend to size up the competition, giving Garoutte the chance to wrestle. “We’re going to need to fit him somewhere.”
Garoutte’s emergence earned the Bulldogs 24 points and helped them win their fourth consecutive Warrior.
The win may have been the closest of the four because with two matches remaining MCHS was ahead of Roosevelt by two points and in jeopardy of losing the consecutive winning streak. Yet, MCHS coaches Ron Linsacum and Roman Gutierrez remained as relaxed as they had all tournament, and for good reason — seniors Ty Grandbouche (145) and Ty Weber (152) were still to wrestle.
“It is pretty good reassurance when you have a lead and those two are still to wrestle,” Gutierrez said. “Unless Weber got caught I knew we probably couldn’t lose.”
Neither wrestler disappointed the MCHS contingent as Grandbouche won with a take down in overtime and Weber finished the tournament with an exclamation point for the Bulldogs as he pinned his fifth opponent 53 seconds into the championship round.
Grandbouche’s win for third place over Roosevelt’s Olivias ended a comeback during which the Roughriders had moved from third before the championship rounds to within two points of the three-time defending champs.
“Roosevelt really showed they are the team to beat in 3A,” Gutierrez said.
“Going into the finals I thought that they wouldn’t lose a match except for the one against Grandbouche and they proved me right.”
Despite MCHS having one individual champion to Roosevelt’s three, the Bulldogs won with 176 points. The Riders were 10 back and Grand Junction finished third with 158.5 points.
An important factor in the Bulldogs’ victory was that only one wrestler was unable to pick up a win.
“We had some guys that might not have won through to the end of the tournament, but they went out there and earned some tough wins,” Gutierrez said.
One of those wrestlers was Shayne Zimmerman (160), who moved up from JV for the tournament and earned the Bulldogs 12 points with two pins.
The Bulldogs tied for the most wrestlers in the final round with six.
Junior Adam Evans (103) and senior Brandon Duarte (171) also contributed to the teams success. Evans finished the tournament 3-3 in sixth place. Duarte fought off a banged up knee that occurred in the quarterfinals to force an overtime in the championship but gave up a take down in the extra period for a second-place finish.
Sloan, who rarely has trouble making the 215-weight class, hopped up to heavyweights to take a shot at the big boys. The plan worked well until the semifinals when the senior went up against Mullens’ Hudson, who has trouble making the 275 weight every once in a while.
“That guy was huge,” Sloan said of his only loss in the tournament. “I could barely even reach around his leg.”
Despite the close finish, which hasn’t happened for the Bulldogs in three years, Gutierrez said he was pleased.
“I really liked what I saw,” he said. “I was a little worried going in because we really hadn’t seen much competition, but we came through and we know what we need to work on.”
Several of the aspects Gutierrez felt his team needed to work on was conditioning as well as working when they are on the bottom.
What the Bulldog coach was pleased with was the pin ratio that his team had in the early part of the season with a 106-9 advantage going into Christmas break.
“We’ll take the well-deserved break and start to hit the mats hard when it’s over,” Gutierrez said. “It’s early and we don’t want to peak until February, but we’ve got something to build on.”
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