Thermopolis Independent Record - Your source for news in Hot Springs County

Wrestlers host triangular Thursday


February 8, 2018

Rex Clothier

Riley Shaffer works to pin his opponent during the Greybull Invitational.

The Greybull Invitational eleven-team tournament included super 2A power Moorcroft who ran away from everyone with a 250 point total, more than 100 points more than second place Cody followed by Lovell, Powell and a tie with Lander and the Bobcats at 107 points.

This tourney presented a special challenge to the Bobcat mat men. Health conditions eliminated two productive members of their lineup, and the question was who would step up to fill their roles as team point earners.

The answer to that was found in three Bobcats who raised their performance to account for 42 team points.

First came Blake Williams, who earned the right to wrestle in the consolation finals against Asher Nicolson who had scored a second period pin over Williams in his first match. It was no contest as Williams completely dominated his Lovell opponent on the way to a 13-3 major decision and 15 team points for a 3rd place finish.

Hunter Mounts joined those who stepped up as he earned seven team points for his two pins in the consolation bracket. Only a nail-biter in the consolation semi-finals, a 3-2 loss, kept Mounts from placing in the tourney.

Finally, Riley Shaffer cemented his position as a bona fide varsity member as he elevated his wrestling level with a second place medal and 20 team points using two pins and a decision to reach the finals. There, against his highly-rated Moorcroft opponent, a simple mistake led to a quick loss by pin.

The remaining 65 team points were produced through the efforts of Austin Ireland (18), Cullen Becher (24), and Logan Cole (23).

After a quick pin of his Powell opponent, Ireland wrestled arguably the Bobcat match of the tournament against Moorcroft's Mica Herrera in the 113 lb. weight. The struggle showed the high skill of both contestants and with less than 15 seconds to go in the match, the score was knotted at 6-6 with both wrestlers on their feet. Herrera shot but was countered by Ireland to a takedown with less than five seconds remaining for the win (8-6) to advance to the finals. Unfortunately, there he ran into Lovell Bulldog Quinton Hecker (second place Ron Thon placer) who completed a perfect tournament by pinning Ireland for the championship and relegating Ireland to a silver medal.

Becher has battled a sore knee all season, and it was evident that it was bothersome during his matches, but in gaining the finals he recorded two first period pins. Such was not the case in the championship match. Facing a tough and skilled opponent, Moorcroft's Casey DeLong, the knee was tested and while Becher did not dominate his opponent, he did control the action and came away with the gold medal in the 6-3 effort.

There was simply no close competition for freshman Logan Cole. The closest anyone came to him was in the final as he posted a 9-3 victory over Moorcroft's Soloman Petz. The major question for Cole is whether to remain in the 195 lb. weight division or drop to 182. Weighing in at less than 190, he gives his opponents as much as an 8 to 10 pound weight advantage.

Others wrestling for the Bobcats in the tourney were Jeff VanAntwerp who actually won three matches in his weight class which would have accounted for six team points had there not been another Bobcat in the same division who scored one more point (only one wrestler from the team can score points at the same weight), Jon Harvey, James Lindquist, and Andrew Yarbrough.

After what he phrased as a "loose week of practice," Coach C.J. Scholl was pleased with his team's performance.

"Blake (Williams)'s performance at 126 was tough and earned him some respect for the team points he gained. He is normally at 120, so we'll see where he goes in the next two weeks, but either way he's proven he's capable of giving a good account of himself. Hunter (Mounts)'s a tough kid who stepped up to the challenge of making some extra team points in Koy Myers absence. Riley (Shaffer) wrestles every practice with Koy or Cullen and they don't take it easy on him. As time has passed, Riley has become competitive with them and turned that competitiveness into a varsity mentality and performance. He's tough"

"Austin (Ireland) showed grit wrestling with a sore knee he tweaked last week at Lander. He'll continue to do well whether he stays at 113 or drops back to the 106 weight division. Cullen (Becher) moved well on his return from the Ron Thon injury two weeks ago. Conditioning is now his only problem. Logan (Cole), for the first time this year, was the aggressor in all his matches, and that fact was primarily responsible for the domination he showed throughout the tournament."

"This coming week will be a challenge with duals against four really tough teams - Lovell, Worland, Moorcroft, and Glenrock."

The Bobcats host a triangular with Lovell and Worland on Thursday, and then journey to Glenrock on Friday for duals with the host Herders and co-visitor Moorcroft.


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