Steamboat junior Casey Williams tosses Moffat County sophomore Curtis Dunlap on his back Thursday during the 152-pound match-up at Moffat County High School. Williams went on to pin Dunlap in the first period.

Photo by Joshua Gordon

Steamboat junior Casey Williams tosses Moffat County sophomore Curtis Dunlap on his back Thursday during the 152-pound match-up at Moffat County High School. Williams went on to pin Dunlap in the first period.

Steamboat splits wrestling duals, beats Moffat County

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— It was a stab, not a blind one as Shane Yeager has spent vast swaths of his life involved in the Steamboat Springs High School wrestling program in some form or another, but an educated guess.

“I can’t even tell you the last time we beat Moffat County in wrestling,” he said, excitement still ringing in the Steamboat coach’s voice. “It’s been years, 20 years. I don’t know how long, but this is huge.”

Steamboat split a pair of wrestling duals Thursday night in Craig, losing badly to Palisade but bouncing back to edge out rival Bulldogs for the first time in, well, a long time.

The pair finished knotted at 30-30, but Yeager said Steamboat won on the eighth tiebreaker, which counts which team scored first in the most matches.

“We came out pretty flat against Palisade, but we had a little heart-to-heart in the locker room and they came out and wrestled very hard against Craig,” Yeager said. “I was very proud of them.”

Junior Casey Williams led the way for the Sailors, winning both of his matches at 152 pounds with pins. Meanwhile, Nathan Parks, Guerin Lewis, Brandon Yeager, Cole Sittig all split, defeating their Moffat opponents while losing to Palisade.

“When they start believing in themselves, knowing they can do it, that’s where the difference is,” Yeager said. “They have the skills to do it. They just have to believe in themselves. That’s the difference between winning and losing right now.”

The Sailors hope to carry that confidence through a number of local competitions, the next of which starts at 5 p.m. Tuesday. Steamboat will have a showdown against Glenwood Springs at 5 p.m. and Eagle Valley at 7 p.m. at Steamboat Springs High School.

“It’s starting to come together,” Yeager said.

To reach Joel Reichenberger, call 970-871-4253 or email jreichenberger@SteamboatToday.com

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