Wrestling team hosts dinner to raise money for January tournament | CraigDailyPress.com

Wrestling team hosts dinner to raise money for January tournament

Ben Bulkeley
Moffat County High School wrestling coach Roman Gutierrez hands Donna Stewart a rose Tuesday at a prime rib dinner fundraiser for the wrestling team. The event raised $4,000 to fund the team's January 2010 trip to Las Vegas for the Las Vegas Invitational.
Hans Hallgren

For a sport known for steadfast dieting and weight-watching, what better way to support a wrestling team than with a prime rib dinner?

That was the mission of the Moffat County High School wrestling team, and coach Roman Gutierrez said the team reached its mission.

“This, along with our auction, helps pay for our trip to Las Vegas in January,” he said. “With our auction, we were able to raise about $6,000 for the trip.”

On Tuesday, more than 320 people showed up for the dinner in the high school cafeteria, which is an annual event for the team as it raises money for the Las Vegas Invitational.

The trip costs more than $9,000, Gutierrez said.

With 160 tickets sold at the dinner, the wrestling team raised more than $4,000, he added.

With each ticket sold, the team moved closer towards its 15th trip to Las Vegas.

“It’s really exciting for the kids,” he said. “For some, it’s their first time on a plane. It’s a new experience, and they get to see new wrestlers while they’re there.”

Juniors Charlie Griffiths and Cody Nelson abandoned their uniforms for formal wear and a spot serving up drinks instead of pain.

Both wrestlers agreed with Gutierrez that traveling to Las Vegas offered them a chance to face new wrestlers.

“It’s just a great chance to experience wrestling outside of the state and outside of the region,” Nelson said. “You get to see moves that are different from ours, and it definitely makes us better.”

Having to face the same wrestlers eventually evens the odds, he said.

“After a while, you know everyone’s moves because you watch them all the time,” he said. “They know all your moves, too.

“If you beat a guy the first time you face him, you might go in a little hot-headed, thinking you’re going to throttle him. But there’s always a chance for error.”

Part of that, Nelson added, is because wrestlers in Northwest Colorado employ the same style.

“We’re known for a couple of moves, and after you face the same guy a couple of times, they might know what to expect,” he said. “In Vegas, you face guys you’ve never seen before, so it might be a little harder, but it definitely gets you ready for states.”

Being able to face new wrestlers with different moves is the one thing Griffiths tries to take away from the Classic.

“There’s a lot more competition,” he said. “Most of the guys you’ll wrestle maybe once, then never again.

“You don’t see the same guy five times like you do during the season.”

Griffiths and Nelson, both 16, said they were happy to see the community involved with the team.

“It’s good to see the community come out for a good cause,” Nelson said. “It just really shows you how much of a wrestling community it is here, when you see all these people come out and get behind us.”

“It’s always awesome to see people support us,” Griffiths said.

Ben Bulkeley can be reached at 875-1795 or bbulkeley@craigdailypress.com.

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