Seeking to become the latest in a long line of Dove Creek wrestlers who have won titles at the annual Dawg Fight tournament, sophomore Gage Bailey walked into his hometown gym on Dec. 8 with a look of steely resolve.
Then, during four consecutive matches, Bailey dominated his way to pin victories while leaving little doubt as to his superiority in the 120-pound class. Two tournaments into the season, his overall record stands at 13-0.
While Bailey’s victory was the highlight for local wrestlers, other members of the Dove Creek, Dolores and Mancos teams also performed well at what was a competitive tournament with 11 teams.
Among the top performers for Mancos was John Lund, who finished fourth in the 152-pound class after winning two of his five matches. Lund’s performance was especially gratifying given that the senior competed at the junior varsity level just last week.
Also suiting up for Mancos were Andrew Ruatti, who won one of five matches and finished fourth at 145 pounds, and Trevor Paquin, who won one of four matches and finished fourth at 120 pounds.
Ty Everett finished 0-4 in the 126-pound division, and Breccen Morelli dropped his first two matches at 152 pounds before retiring with an injury. Mancos finished 10th overall.
Dolores wrestlers competing at the Dawg Fight included Josh Petrow, who finished fourth in the 126-pound division after winning one of his four matches, and Bryan Escarcega, who finished third at 195 pounds after winning one of his three matches. Dolores finished ninth in the team standings.
Dove Creek wrestlers included Will McKellips, who finished fifth at 160 pounds after winning two of his five matches, and Austin Green, who finished fourth at 170 pounds after winning two of his five matches.
Freshman Jaydon Bailey competed in the 106-pound division, and although he did not win a match, he continued to show improvement. Dove Creek tied for sixth place in the team standings with San Juan High School. Bayfield High School finished first overall in the 11-team event.