The Bulldogs are busy at work.
Dove Creek High School has taken its wrestling show on the road to Vernal, Utah, and Winslow, Ariz., during the new year.
The tournaments in Vernal and Winslow had 40-plus teams of all classifications, and are arguably more challenging than the Colorado state championships. Bulldogs coach Shane Baughman feels his team is coming on at the right time from the experience gained in Utah and Arizona.
I think those two tournaments are definitely tough, he said. Cole (Baughman) took fourth in Vernal, a really tough tournament. I think the kids are learning how to wrestle in these close matches. Were on the verge of winning them.
Between the two big tourneys was a home dual on Jan. 12, with San Juan (Blanding, Utah). The Bulldogs dismantled the Broncos, 59-12, to tune up for Winslow last Friday and Saturday.
A total of 41 schools were at Winslow High School. Dove Creek placed ninth, but Shane Baughman feels his Bulldogs could have finished higher.
The kids wrestled really well. Some injuries kept us a little bit from getting a bigger finish, he said.
Dove Creek suffered a huge blow when 170-pounder Chance Johnson sustained a knee injury in his third match. He did not return the rest of the tournament and will sit out today in Paonia.
I told the kids, It doesnt get any easier going to Paonia. The teams there are tough, Shane Baughman said about todays Screaming Eagle tournament. Its 13 teams, most are 2A competition. It will be good for us. It will give us a chance to see some Eastern Slope schools. It will be interesting to see how we pair up against them.
Cole Baughman took third at 120 pounds in Winslow. Nick Jones and Chance Randolph each placed fourth at 106 and 113 pounds, respectively.
Most the kids got seven to eight matches on the day. Everybody got at least one win. A pretty good showing, Shane Baughman said.
Dove Creek will wrestle at Paonia High School today at 9 a.m.