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MEEKER — “It was pretty sad,” Meeker High School wrestling coach Joe Gutierrez said of the 2009 Colorado State Wrestling Championships. Two senior Cowboys qualified for the big show but only one match was won between the two.
Matt Moody and Jared Doll both qualified for a return trip to the state tournament. Moody finished fourth at the state tournament as a sophomore but did not wrestle as a junior. Moody lost his first match but won his second before losing in the second round of the consolation bracket at 112.
“Matt lost a couple of matches he probably should have won but it was kind of like that all year,” Gutierrez said. “We couldn’t win the close ones we needed too. Matt knows the year off hurt.”
Doll lost both of his matches in the 135-pound bracket.
“Jared had a tough bracket, I thought he would go a little further but there were a lot of good kids in his weight.”
Gutierrez hauled several of the underclassmen over the mountains to experience the tournament and hopefully motivate them.
“Taking them (underclassmen) over and having them see what it is all about has made them want to be a part of it,” Gutierrez said of the feedback from the underclassmen. “They want to go to a freshman/sophomore tournament in March and the Rocky Mountain Nationals the following week. Hopefully these guys keep pushing each other and growing closer as teammates. We need to step up and try to compete with those guys in those big tournaments.
Gutierrez was thankful for the support of his assistant coaches Lee Overton and Sam Love, parents and former wrestlers, who came in the room to help.
“Lee was great, all the kids like him and he’s a great asset to the program,” Gutierrez said of the former state champion. “Sam, with all of his years of experience, helped keep me pointed in the right direction, I really appreciated it. It was great to have guys like them in the room as well as former wrestlers like Tyrel (Stout) and Tyrell Turner, Cody and Ryan Clark, come in and offer their knowledge, it’s always appreciated and we want to do that more.”
“I think the community realizes we are in a rebuilding process and there are a lot of people wanting to help get us on the right track,” Gutierrez said. “We need to keep working together and we’ll start seeing some success, it’ll come.”