Moffat County tops Soroco wrestlers
OAK CREEK — A Thursday battle between two Northwest Colorado wrestling powerhouse teams not only made for an energetic watch, but also set in motion some potentially huge rematches in the coming weeks.
Moffat County High School grapplers rolled into Oak Creek and corralled the Soroco Rams in a 56-20 dual match that ranged from swift defeats to hard-fought, lengthy bouts with the thinnest of margins.
After no competition in recent home duals with Rifle and Meeker, Moffat County’s Elias Peroulis, in the 182-pound weight class, unleashed his pent-up energy on Tristan Singer, gaining the pin in 29 seconds. It took longer for the Rams’ Sky Carlson at 220, but he didn’t take too long to gain the fall over Toryn Hume midway through the second round.
Carlson moved to 21-0 as a result of the win, and MCHS coach Dennis Fredrickson said he wouldn’t be surprised if the Soroco senior goes all the way without a single loss this season.
“You gotta give hats off to Sky,” he said. “He just wrestled his match.”
Moffat County’s Slater Durbin gained a much-needed victory at 113 with a first-round fall against Darrel Ebaugh, while Bulldog Blake Juergens and Ram Gene Bracegirdle held nothing back at 120.
Bracegirdle picked up five quick points, though Juergens answered back with four of his own in the second period. However, neither could make a meaningful move in the third, to give Bracegirdle the win.
Matching up with Dalton Ray at 145, MCHS’s Ethan Powers held the lead 5-0 as the second round wrapped up before ending with the pin with 39 seconds to go. Powers’ win came between two major decisions for the Dogs by fellow seniors Chris Moschetti (132) and Drake Zimmerman (152), 17-4 against Kody Logan and 11-3 over Jonathan Jerome, respectively.
Fredrickson noted it was an unusual pairing of a senior like Moschetti with a freshman.
“You see that sometimes at the lower weights, but Chris showed his experience and dominated pretty well, Fredrickson said.
At 160, Jesse Amrein got the Rams their last points of the evening with an 18-2 technical fall against Greg Hixson.
The night wrapped up its varsity matches as Moffat County’s Miki Klimper squared off with Jace Logan at the 170 weight. Klimper immediately earned a takedown with Logan countering with his own TD, nearly ending it then and there until Klimper scooted them out of the ring.
Klimper controlled the pace from there, ending the first period ahead 6-5, slowly wearing Logan down more and more before getting him on his back with 30 seconds left in the second round.
Though Logan had the more favorable record at 20-1 going into he night, the win wasn’t a huge surprise for either coach.
“Craig’s 70-pounder’s an animal, a big one, too, that affected it. Jace only weighed 166,” Soroco coach Jay Whaley said. “We had some matches that went a long ways, but Moffat County’s a good team. We lost to a good team.”
Likewise, Fredrickson — himself a Soroco wrestling alumnus — said he figured Klimper had seen more intense competition throughout the season.
“I think it has to do with our kids’ schedule — Miki’s just seen some tougher kids. Jace is an exceptional athlete, and he’ll probably be a state champion, but he hasn’t gone against the same caliber Miki has,” he said.
Moffat County — ninth among 3A teams in On the Mat rankings this week — will attend the Valley Viking Invitational this weekend, while Soroco, eighth in 2A, will be at Center’s Valley Classic, but the two teams could see some competition among themselves again during a February tournament in Rawlins, Wyoming, during their final weekend before regional tourneys.
And, if Whaley had his say, it would be multiple rematches.
“Every one we lost tonight, how about that?” he said with a laugh.
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