If the Dove Creek Bulldogs wrestling team accumulated rust over the Christmas break, it certainly was not evident during their first matches of 2014.
Squaring off against San Juan High School on Jan. 8, the Bulldogs won four of five matches, benefited from three forfeits and recorded a 42-27 victory.
Leading the way for the Bulldogs in front of a large crowd, Wyatt Applin, wrestling against one of the top 170-pounders in Utah, recorded a pin with 40 seconds left in the first period.
“That was a big win,” said Bulldogs’ head coach Shane Baughman. “That kid was second in the state of Utah last year.”
Clearly energized by Applin’s performance, Case Baughman dominated his 126-pound match for two and a half periods before pinning his opponent with 20 seconds left in the match.
“I thought that I had my technique down pretty good and ended up with the match,” said Baughman.
Also registering pins for the Bulldogs while wrestling one weight class up, Chance Randolph (138 pounds) and Nick Jones (145 pounds) recorded impressive pin victories.
Discussing what allowed his team to wrestle so well coming out of Christmas break, Jones stated that tough practices over the break paid off.
“We went in and worked out a few times,” said Jones. “Practice is pretty tough, but it pays off.”
In addition to the Bulldogs’ pin victories, Collin Hobbs, Donavan Trudeau and Tyler Knuckles came away victorious by way of forfeit.
Tommy Fury was the lone Dove Creek wrestler to fall on the day, dropping an 8-1 decision.
With their season now almost halfway complete, the Bulldogs will next travel to Vernal, Utah to compete in the always-difficult Tournament of Champions on Jan. 10-11.
“There are a couple of teams there that are ranked in the nation,” said Shane Baughman of the upcoming tournament. “We always say that if you can place at this tournament, your chances of placing at the state tournament are pretty good.”