Bobcat wrestlers see first action of the new year

 

January 10, 2019

Rex Clothier

Austin Ireland keeps control of his opponent's arm during last week's competition at the Shane Shatto Memorial Invitational.

Thermopolis wrestlers opened 2019 at the Shane Shatto Memorial Invitational in Douglas on Friday with 23 other teams. The Bobcats were in a tight knit group of five teams separated by five points in 15th place with 68 team points. The tournament hosted nearly twenty 3A and 4A schools including two Nebraska schools - Alliance and Chadron - as well as Castle Rock, Colorado.

Leading the Bobcats were senior Austin Ireland, finish- ing second in the 113 lb. class and earning 24 team points, and sophomore Logan Cole, finishing fifth in the 220 lb. class and earning 15 points for the Bobcats. Chance Watt followed with nine team points on two victories by pin; Hunter Mounts with seven points on two victories on a pin and a major decision; Riley Shaffer with six points by way of pin following a bye; Wyatt McDermott five points on a pin and a decision; and Jon Harvey with two points on a decision following a bye.

Ireland's final match was a nail biter with the Bobcat erasing a first period deficit with a strong comeback to take a 4-3 lead into the final period. The match appeared to be turning in his favor, but Natrona's Billy Benton executed a tough lateral throw to Austin's back for the pin. Ireland had been assigned the No. 1 seed and lived up to that rank- ing with two pins on his way to the finals.


Cole rolled over his first two opponents in a little over five minutes of mat time before he ran into Thunder Mountain's Terran Swartz, the probable 4A state champ who demolished the Bearcats' undefeated Cody Pinkerton via pin. In the consolation bracket, Cole salvaged his tournament with a 3-1 victory over Lusk's Jasper Caldera for fifth place.

Head coach Travis McDermott commented, "The long vacation hadn't helped the Bobcats conditioning, and they will be working on that in the coming weeks. Austin (Ireland) had a good week of practice and a strong tournament performance. It was good to see Logan (Cole) come back for a place. Jeff (VanAntwerp) wrestled well, but Hunter (Mount) got an advancement point Jeff didn't, and since they were at the same weight, only one of the two can have their points counted in the total. The upcoming Don Runner will be primarily a 2A tournament, and it will be a measurement of where we are at this time of the season.

"We've got to get over the tendency of differing expectations for our performance based on the size of the school we're competing with. It really shouldn't make any difference on the mat whether your opponent is from this or that size of school, and we've got to get over thinking it does."


In JV action, Austin Barral recorded two pins, and Jarek Sorensen one for the Bobcats.

The boys were scheduled to compete at a dual at Cody with Lovell on Jan. 8, and Jan. 11- 12 the Bobcats will be in ac- tion at the Don Runner Invi- tational in Pavillion with 27 other competitors.

 

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