Wrestlers make a night to remember
January 31, 2019
With the largest crowd in years looking on, Bobcat wrestlers created a memory no other Thermopolis wrestlers before them could do - they will be able to remember forever defeating the Douglas Bearcat mat men on the home mats.
The dual started at the 152 weight class with Hunter Mounts moving up from his usual 145 pounds to take on Bearcat Ty Russel. One minute and four seconds later the referee raised his hand, and he walked off after starting the Bobcats with an unexpected 6-0 lead.
Douglas won a hard-fought match by pin over Jon Harvey and an equally tough match by a 11-7 decision over Riley Shaffer, giving Douglas its first lead of the dual at 9-6.
Bobcat freshmen Cole Christianson and Chance Watt responded for the Bobcats with pins at 182 and 195 for a comfortable 18-9 lead as the spectators began to expect that this was not the usual outcome with the always powerful Bearcats.
Bearcat 220 pound Cody Pinkerton, rated at the top of that class in 3A, wrestled to form when he took on equally highly rated Bobcat Logan Cole. Despite a solid effort from Cole, Pinkerton managed to eke out a two-point win at 5-3 bringing the Bearcats closer at 18-12.
Bobcat Remington Ferree at 285 returned some confidence when he pinned Edel Diaz-Jamie to widen the margin to 24-12, but the score got a lot closer when Austin Ireland was upset at 113 and Douglas accepted a forfeit at 120, bringing the score to 24-21 Bobcats.
Freshman Wyatt McDermott stepped up with a pin at 126lbs.over Douglas' Garrett McReynolds to again expand the lead to 30-21. Then the Bearcats showed their claws with pins over Bobcats Chase White and Aiden Osman. Suddenly , the Bobcats found themselves on the short end of a 33-30 score with only one match left at 145.
Thermopolis wrestler, senior Jeffrey VanAnterp not only had to win, but he had to win by eight or more points for the Bobcats to be victorious as a team. With seconds remaining and a seven-point margin, VanAntwerp forced his opponent to his back for a near fall and a 13-4 match victory - and a 34-33 team victory.
The following match with Buffalo was somewhat anticlimactic as eight Bobcats -Ireland, Mounts, White, Harvey, Christianson, Watt, Cole, and Ferree - all scored pins. Those 48 points and Ozman's decision made the final score 51-15 with six of Buffalo's points coming on a forfeit. Coach McDermott's smile was much in evidence.
"It was a good night for Thermopolis wrestling!" he commented. It certainly was.
The Bobcats also saw action at the Ron Thon this past weekend. Riverton hosted the premier all-class tournament in Wyoming with 44 teams entering more than 300 wrestlers in the Varsity section and nearly 400 entered in the JV section. The Bobcats were divided with seven entered in the varsity side, and five in the JV side.
The varsity tournament also saw six of the seven Bobcat entries score team points. Austin Ireland earned 4.5 points for the Bobcats on a decision and a tech fall; Wyatt McDermott added five more points on a pin and a decision; Chase White contributed three more on a pin; Jon Harvey earned seven with two pins to his credit; Riley Shaffer with a first round decision added two more to the team total; and the only Bobcat placer in the varsity tournament, Logan Cole, added 13 more from his three victories and fifth place tournament ranking.
All the Bobcats entered in the JV tournament scored points for the team, but two of them wrestled their way to the finals - Remington Ferree and Cole Christianson.
Ferree turned in a perfect four-pin performance to win the championship in the 285 lb. weight class, while Christianson continued to impress by wrestling to the finals for second place. The two Bobcats led their team to 17th place in the 43 team field with 78 points, and highest ranked 2A team in the field.
Three class 2A teams finished higher than the Bobcats. Two of them, Moorcroft and Cokeville, earned more than 50 points, and Kemmerer finished with more than 100 points. The regional qualifying tournament is in Kemmerer this year, and it will test both Cokeville and the Bobcats for seeding at the state tournament.
The schedule now gets brutal for the Thermopolis wrestlers with a one day tournament at Greybull on Saturday, Feb. 2, and triangles with Lovell/Worland on Thursday, Feb. 7 and Glenrock/Moorcroft on Friday, Feb. 8 all leading up to the regional at Kemmerer on Friday, Feb. 15, and all happening in the next three weeks.