Moffat County’s wrestlers compete in the Tournament of Champions at the beginning of the 2021 season

Dylan Zimmerman (above) battles for control during the Champions’ Tournament in Vernal on January 8th. (Courtesy photo)

While wrestling for the Moffat County Club wrestling team, wrestlers from the college high school team went to Vernal, Utah on the weekend of January 8th to compete in the famous Tournament of Champions. The event took place at Uintah County Western Park in Vernal.

The team made it a successful trip with three of the eleven wrestlers finishing in the top six. Anthony Duran finished fourth with a record of 2-2 in the 126-pound weight class for MoCo Club Wrestling while Caden Call finished sixth with a record of 3-2 in the 132-pound weight class.

Pepper Rhyne finished second with a 3-1 record in the 160-pound weight class and crowned a strong weekend for the club wrestling team.

The tournament also had two independent wrestlers, Kaden Hixson and Keegan Herod. Hixson finished fourth with a record of 2-2 in the 113-pound weight class. While Herod fought 0-2.

Outside of those four wrestlers, the team also sent Noah Duran, Brody Wiser, Eli Fredrickson, Blake Juergens, Ryan Duzik, Michael Voloshin, Blake Hill and Billy Lawton to Vernal. Duran finished with a 2-2 record, Wiser with a 2-1 record, Frederickson joined Wiser in the 1-2 club and Juergens also hit a 2-1 record.

Duzik changed the trend and finished .500 with a 2-2 record while Voloshin also went 1-2. Hill and Lawton also claimed grades of 1-2. Other local Hayden wrestlers included Kodi Ingols, Dylan Zimmerman, Kyler Campbell, Wyatt Murphy, Cody Hawn, Owen Miller, Sabyn Hager, Logan Silva, and Jake Lindly.

Zimmerman finished third in the 132-pound weight class, finishing the race with a record of 3-1, while Miller finished second with a record of 2-1 in the 106-pound weight class. Hager won the junior varsity’s 126-pound weight class and Lindly finished fourth in the 160-pound weight class. Hager finished the tournament with a 3-0 record and Lindly with a 2-2 record at 500

In Hayden, Kodi Ingols took the lead 2-0, while Campbell also had a tough day on the mat 2-0. Wyatt Murphy wrestled in the 145-pound weight class and ended the day with a 1-2 record. In the 170-pound weight class, Hawn finished 0-2.

Although many of his wrestlers made the two-hour trip, Tyler Seislove, the head coach of the Moffat County Bulldogs, did not come to Utah.

The team went separate from high school as part of a club that Seislove made sure was not affiliated with Moffat County High School.

“There’s a team club, a group of fathers who have the financial backing and who trained as a club with the kids on their own when we couldn’t train in high school,” said Seislove. “So it’s not associated with high school, it wasn’t run by me, the high school coach.”

The fact that the team has been training outside of school is something Seislove believes will give his team an advantage over the coming season.

“I think any work they have done independently over the past few months will help them get into the season,” said Seislove. “There are kids out there who couldn’t practice. Every type of mat time our boys have come in has helped them prepare and stay one step ahead of the competition of the year.”

The work his team has done for the club outside of school – both at the tournament and in practice – assures Seislove that the rust on his team will not be as big as it could be.

“But as I said, the independent work they have done so far has only helped them stay one step ahead of the competition,” said Seislove.

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