With Denver and the Pepsi Center just a few fast hours away via Interstate 70, it was almost as though Bayfield bigs Daniel Westbrook and John Foutz wanted to take a side trip away from Grand Junction and Colorado Mesa University's 2018 Maverick Duals to glimpse this winter's most desired destination.
Interchangeable at 220 pounds or heavyweight, neither the senior Westbrook nor the junior Foutz seemed to want to stay inside Brownson Arena very long.
Only 2A Cedaredge 220-pounder Taj van der Linde managed to push either Wolverine the full six minutes, with Westbrook prevailing by 12-4 major decision. Otherwise, Westbrook notched two pins in under 1:45 each (2A Paonia standout 285 Levi Peterson fell in 1:36) and picked up a forfeit, while Foutz received a forfeit then proceeded to pin his final three foes with only Olathe's Chase Sale lucky to see a second period before succumbing in an elapsed 3:32.
In fact, only Grand Junction's Hunter Tobiasson, with four pins and a major to his credit at 195/220 could be said to have outperformed either at the 17-team, season-opening event this past Saturday, Dec. 1.
"We've got a lot to work on and I was pleased with the effort that we put out," said Coach Todd McMenimen, who is returning to BHS wrestling after stepping away from the mat for a few years. "There's a lot of technical stuff to work on that we need to focus on in the next couple of weeks, and we've got to try to continue to improve between now and Christmas break time to make the big push for January."
And of course February, when the Mile High City will be tantalizingly - if not maddeningly - close.
Overall, Bayfield finished the Duals standing 1-4, with a 42-24 win over New Castle Coal Ridge but losses to CHS (66-14), Delta (39-29), PHS (39-22) and OHS, a 36-34 outcome in which BHS had a chance to tie. Pirate Jonathan Bollinger resisted Bayfield's Dylan Pickering, who saw action at 126 and 132 pounds, just long enough to lose by a four-point 13-1 major decision rather than suffer a six-point stick.
Pickering finished the meet 4-1 with two majors, a technical fall and a forfeit. 152-pounder Trey McKee went 2-1 with a pin and a forfeit, while Paden Williamson went 3-2 at 195 with three forfeit wins. Wrestling at both 113 and 120, Xander Hovenstine went 2-2 with two forfeits, while Colby Baker went 2-3 at 138 with two forfeits.
Newcomer James Mars went 1-4 at 120/126, with his win coming 17 seconds into the third period against Olathe's Daniel Gray. 152-pounder Geron Goring went 1-1 with a 15-6 major against Cedaredge's Cameron Quick.
James Chenowith went 0-1 at 120 pounds, while Kobe Prior (160) and Shane Moore (170) each went 1-4 with a forfeit win.
"We definitely had some standouts," said McMenimen. "Myself and my assistant felt like everybody put forth a really good day of wrestling, so it was great."
Up next, the Wolverines will travel to Dove Creek's "Dawg Fight" on Saturday, Dec. 8.