The Choteau High School wrestling squad hoped to hold senior night on Feb. 6 at a mixer with Conrad and Florence-Carlton, but Mother Nature’s winter storm, which started Feb. 5 and carried through the weekend, forced the cancellation of the event after Florence-Carlton pulled out because of dangerous road conditions.
Coach Sam Armstrong on Sunday said he hopes to be able to honor senior wrestlers Kaide Kindler and Anna Stutz and manager Destiny Buckman at a home mixer with Simms on Feb. 16. (The team’s last home event is set for Feb. 19, but Armstrong and the girls will be gone at the state girls meet.)
This week, the Choteau girls, Stutz and Sadie Grove, are competing at the season’s second girls-only mixer at Cascade High School on Feb. 9. Armstrong said a few different teams are coming so the girls will get to see some different competitors.
Last week, the all-class girls wrestling rankings were released and Stutz, a senior wrestling for the first time after serving for three seasons as the team’s manager, is listed as the top-ranked girl at 152 pounds with a 2-0 record against other girls.
Other female wrestlers from this area who are ranked included Rebecca Stroh of Chinook, 11-2, first at 113 pounds; Lily Grismer of Cascade, 2-0, first at 126 pounds; Skylar Connelly of Valier, 7-1, first at 132 pounds; Lily Schubarth of Simms, 2-1, third at 132 pounds; Mariah Wahl of Cut Bank, 5-0, first at 138 pounds; J.J. Carter of Cut Bank, 4-0, second at 152 pounds; Syke Smith of Cascade, 1-1, third at 205 pounds; and Haylee Fetters of Cut Bank, 2-0, fourth at 205 pounds.
This week, Choteau’s male and female wrestlers will travel to either Fort Benton or Cascade on Feb. 12 and on Feb. 13 will be in Shelby to compete in a mixer with Florence-Carlton and Fairfield.
This will be the last week of the regular season for the Choteau girls who will compete with 167 other female wrestlers in the state’s first ever all-girl, all-class state tournament Feb. 19 and 20 at Lockwood High School in Billings.
Coach Armstrong said the wrestlers appreciate activities bus driver Ken Meyer for safely delivering the team home from its trip to White Sulphur Springs on Feb. 5. Road conditions were bad most of the trip, and it took the bus seven hours to get back to Choteau, arriving in the wee hours of Feb. 6.
Last week, the Bulldogs hosted Shelby in a very small mixer held without spectators in the CHS wrestling room. Shelby brought only four wrestlers, and coaches worked so that each Choteau wrestler got one to two matches in a round-robin format, refereed by Chuck DeBoo of Valier.
Stutz and Grove both won matches against Berlin Larson, Kindler won his match as did Jacob Major. Percy Bechtold, Jared Selander and Carter Morgan all lost their matches by decisions.
At White Sulphur Springs, Choteau wrestled against Park County High School from Livingston and Broadwater County High School from Townsend. The Choteau girls did not wrestle at this meet as there were no girl opponents.
Choteau’s boys won 11 out of 13 matches at the mixer, which Armstrong said gave the boys the chance to see Townsend’s wrestlers and to wrestle some strong Class A-ranked kids from Livingston. Armstrong said it was important for the Choteau boys to go head-to-head with the Townsend wrestlers for the purposes of seeding into the Western Divisional Tournament, Feb. 26 and 27 at Cut Bank.
Armstrong and assistant coach Levi Guenzler named junior Carter Morgan, wrestling at 205 pounds, as the Wrestler of the Week, in recognition of his consistent improvement. Armstrong said Morgan wrestled as a freshman but missed his sophomore year because of a broken arm. This year, he has had to work hard to regain his conditioning and learn how to wrestle as a 205 pounder rather than a 170 pounder.
Morgan lost by decision to Cam Brusven of Shelby but came out strong at White Sulphur Springs, pinning both of his opponents, Lyam Bullard of Livingston (2:32) and Julian Stewart of Townsend (:07), also earning the quick pin honors for the week.
Armstrong said Bullard is a strong, quality wrestler and their match was exciting to watch and showed how much Morgan has improved. “Carter wrestled him really well, handled him the majority of the match,” Armstrong said. He said Morgan’s technique is really coming together, he is moving lightly, taking shots, has good top pressure and is finding his momentum.
Most Exciting Match honors went to Jeffery Colesworthy, wrestling Trae DeSaveur, a shorter-built wrestler from Livingston. Armstrong said Colesworthy looked good in the first round, as the match went back and forth in neutral position with both boys taking shots and defending really well. He said Colesworthy took control on top in the second period, got into some good leg positions, scissored DeSaveur and pinned the kid from that position, which he had never done before. “It was cool to see that happen,” Armstrong said.
The coach said the boys got some good momentum out of winning 11 of 13 matches at White Sulphur and he is looking forward to that positive attitude rolling into this week’s competition.
So far, knock on wood, Armstrong said his wrestlers are staying healthy and none of them has suffered any major injuries.
138 — Anna Stutz dec. Berlin Larson, Shelby, 6-0.
138 — Sadie Grove dec. Berlin Larson, 12-0.
145 — Kaide Kindler dec. Harold Miller, Shelby, 10-9.
152 — Percy Bechtold dec. by Harold Miller, Shelby, 6-9.
182 — Jared Selander dec. by Cam Brusven, Shelby, 1-7.
205 — Carter Morgan dec. by Brusven, 3-6.
285 — Jacob Major dec. Ryan Simpson, 8-2.
White Sulphur Springs mixer
132 — Jeffery Colesworthy p. Trae DeSaveur, Livingston, 4:03; p. Josh Spritzer, Townsend, :41.
145 — Kaide Kindler p. Charlie Seemen, Livingston, 2:04.
152 — Percy Bechtold p. Same Lane, Townsend, 2:58.
152 — Kaide Kindler p. Connor Lamb, Townsend, :21.
160 — Percy Bechtold p. by Cade Gubler, Livingston, 1:34.
170 — Jared Selander p. by Cylar Taylor, 2:46.
170 — Gus Lee p. Tucker Sheperdson, Livingston, 1:36.
182 — Jared Selander p. Levi Mowery, Townsend, :19.
205 — Carter Morgan p. Lyam Bullard, Livingston, 2:32; p. Julian Stewart, Townsend, :07.
285 — Jacob Major m. dec. Zane Cox, Livingston, 8-0; p. Caleb Toole, Townsend, :40.