Moffat County wrestling picks up powerful pins before senior night events |

Moffat County wrestling picks up powerful pins before senior night events

Moffat County wrestler Makaela Simpson stands atop the podium as the winner of the MLK Girls Tournament at Grand Junction's Central High School on Saturday, Jan. 21, 2023. Simpson went undefeated during the Friday, Jan. 20, dual event and Saturday tournament.
Courtesy photo

The oldest members of the Moffat County wrestling team continue to push forward as they come into what will be the final month of their biggest season yet.

The MCHS boys will host a triangular on Thursday, Jan. 26, between the Bulldogs, Hayden and Basalt, while the MoCo girls will square off in a dual with Basalt. The match will start at 5 p.m. and include a senior night ceremony highlighting the seniors who are a part of the boys program.

After a week off from tournaments, the Bulldog boys were back in the thick of things, starting with a Jan. 17 dual in Rifle that amounted to a 66-9 win with eight pins. That sent Moffat County into this weekend’s two-day Top of the Rockies tournament, hosted by Lafayette’s Centaurus High School. The Dogs were 14th among 43 schools, the majority of which were larger Front Range teams.

The Bulldog roster went to work, with seniors Michael Voloshin and Kaden Hixson each making it to the podium. Voloshin went 3-1 for second place in the 165-pound class, with one fall, an injury forfeit and an 11-2 major decision putting him in the finals. Though he struggled to get any points in a 7-0 loss, the Bulldog upperclassman went all the way to the last seconds.

Dipping down into the 126-pound weight class, Hixson made it as far as the quarterfinals with a 4-3 record by the end of Saturday, Jan. 21. He took one pin and three decisions, giving up only one fall in a sixth-place finish.

Though most of the Dogs struggled to get further along in the brackets, Colt Call, Kaeden Martinez, Eli Fredrickson, Aron Aguilar, Zach Hedman, Blake Hill and Billy Lawton each took at least one win in the tourney.

The MoCo girls stayed on the Western Slope with the MLK Girls Tournaments hosted by Grand Junction Central.

Friday, Jan. 20, was a dual team event that saw the Bulldogs go 3-2 with wins over Monte Vista (42-24), Rifle (45-12) and Central JV (42-33). A 45-36 loss to Olathe was largely due to the Pirates’ larger roster, as they picked up 24 uncontested points compered to two MoCo wins by forfeit.

MoCo senior Makalea Simpson went undefeated during the team dual event, with Mikah Vasquez, HayLee Staker and Kenleigh Pubanz each going 4-1.

The next day saw a true tournament format with the Bulldogs locking up the No. 3 spot among 12 schools, with nine of the Bulldogs placing.

Simpson won the 170-pound class with three straight pins. Vasqeuz also made it to the finals with back-to-back first period falls before earning the silver at 115 pounds.

Pubanz took third in the 235 class, while Adrianna Price (105) and Kayla Deaton (130) also took the bronze, going 4-1 and 2-2, respectively.

Abby Martinez (120) went 2-2 to achieve fourth, and Raegan McMillan (110) was 3-2 and Cydny Witherell (135) 2-2, each for fifth. Rounding out placement was Callah Caperton in sixth at 1-3.

“It was an intense weekend. The girls showed great poise and sportsmanship,” said coach Ashleigh Seely. “Their discipline is paying off.”

After their triangular, Bulldog boys will compete this weekend at Saturday’s Grand Valley Duals. The girls will have a weekend off before rematching Olathe on the road Feb. 2 and hosting a home dual Feb. 4 against Grand Junction.

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