Choteau High School will host the 31-team Class B/C Choteau Classic wrestling tournament on Jan. 14 and 15 with a two-day double-elimination varsity tournament and a one-day junior varsity tournament.
CHS Coach Sam Armstrong said long-time wrestling coach and volunteer Bob Scott will serve as the tournament director again this year. The tournament has expanded from a 16-man bracket to a 32-man bracket so there will not be pigtail rounds this year (rounds wrestled to make it into the bracket).
Armstrong said the very low and very high weight brackets will likely not be full but the middle weight class brackets should all be full or close to full.
Wrestling will start at noon in the high school gym on Friday and will resume at 10 a.m. on Saturday. Any wrestlers put out of the varsity tournament on Friday will wrestle in the one-day JV tournament in the elementary gym on Saturday.
Armstrong said most of the teams from the Western Division will be at this tournament, which is the largest B/C only tournament in the state every year. Wrestlers from some teams will be housed in churches and homes and some will stay in motels here for the weekend’s action.
Four mats will run in the high school gym and there will be divisions for both boys and girls. Armstrong said he is expecting around 240 boys and 30 to 40 girls for the tournament.
Teams in the hunt for boys’ trophies at this tournament will likely be Jefferson County, Cut Bank and Whitehall, contending for the top three with solid numbers on their squads.
Choteau should have three girls wrestling — Arionna Gomes, Daysha McLoughlin and Abby Zickefoose. McLoughlin has been sidelined recently with a broken toe.
On the boys’ side, the wrestlers will include Nathan Gunderson, Jeffery Colesworthy, Percy Bechtold, Gus Lee, Jared Selander, Carter Morgan and Jacob Major. The team will be wrestling without freshman Nick Morgan for the rest of the year since his diagnosis of a broken shoulder.
Last week, Choteau hosted a mixer with Conrad, Simms and Fairfield. Heart Butte had been scheduled to come but was unable to because of a winter storm.
Choteau honored senior wrestlers McLoughlin, Colesworthy, Selander, Carter Morgan and Major.
Armstrong said this mixer is a nice way for the wrestlers to come off the holiday break and get back into the groove of competition. No team scores were kept at the mixer, which paired wrestlers of like weights together in two rounds of competition on two mats.
Choteau was missing 182-pound sophomore Gus Lee the whole week because of COVID-19 protocols, Armstrong said.
On Jan. 7 and 8, the CHS squads traveled to the Cut Bank Booster invitational tournament, which includes A and B/C teams from throughout the region. The Choteau boys took seventh place as a team and the girls took 11th place.
Just Gomes and Zickefoose wrestled on the girls team. Gomes placed fifth and scored seven team points. Zickefoose placed second and scored four team points.
On the boys’ side, Gunderson placed sixth and scored 11 team points, and Colesworthy placed third and scored 15 team points. Bechtold placed fifth and scored 19 while Carter Morgan placed second with 24 team points and Major placed fifth with nine team points. Selander did not place but scored four team points.
Armstrong and assistant coach Levi Guenzler named Colesworthy as the wrestler of the week. He showed a lot of determination against some very tough wrestlers, including Tristian Stygles, Havre, whom Colesworthy decisioned, 10-7, to place third.
The coaches said “most exciting match” honors went to Major, who wrestled a nip-and-tuck match against Wyatt Dunbar of Chinook, a state placer in the heavyweight division. Major lost by a score of 7-4 but was in the whole match, took a couple of great shots and did a very good job, Armstrong said.
Morgan wrestled tough again and pinned three wrestlers on his way to the championship match with a talented Class A wrestler, Randy Tommerup of Havre. Morgan lost by a decision to Tommerup, 4-8, to finish in second place.
In practice this week, Armstrong said, all the wrestlers will continue to work on conditioning and to drill on technique as well as lifting twice a week. Practices are going to intensify as the season progresses, he said, so that everyone will be in optimal physical shape by two weeks before the state tournament.
The girls, who are new to wrestling, will also continue to work on fundamentals, learning moves and how to pace themselves for three two-minute periods in matches.
113 — Arionna Gomes p. by Harley Wade, Simms, 3:11; dec. by Harley Wade, Simms, 2-15.
126 — Nathan Gunderson dec. by Logan Van Dyke, Conrad, 12-2; p. Thomas King, Conrad, 3:21; p. by Nathaniel Edmonds, Simms, 1:24.
138 — Jeffery Colesworthy dec. Miguel Ramos, Fairfield, 9-4.
152 — Abby Zickefoose p. by Morgan Feist, Simms, 5:37; p. by Feist, 1:37.
160 — Percy Bechtold p. Trysten Robertson, Conrad, 4:00.
182 — Jared Selander dec. by Cael Giles, 0-6.
205 — Carter Morgan p. Bryce Lohman, Conrad, 3:01.
285 — Jacob Major dec. Isaac Lauver, Fairfield, 3-2.
Cut Bank Booster Invitational
Top 15 team scores
1. Cut Bank, 226; 2. Havre, 198; 3. Jefferson County, 150.5; 4. Fergus County, 107.5; 5. Conrad, 95; 6. Circle, 91; 7. Choteau and Fort Benton, 81; 9. Chinook and Poplar, 76; 11. Simms, 67; 12. Malta, 57.5; 13. Fairfield, 57; 14. Cascade, 57; 15. Shelby, 36.
Choteau individual results
126 — Nathan Gunderson p. Kohner Shipman, Malta, 2:50; p. Brooks Hooper, CMR JV, 1:35; p. by Dayne Sullivan, Simms, 3:38; p. by Nate Wadlow, Cascade, 1:36; p. by Teagan Reimer, Fort Benton, 1:25.
138 — Jeffery Colesworthy, bye; p. by Kanon Branch, Cut Bank, 2:16; m. dec. Justin Awtrey, Havre, 18-7; dec. Sean Ward, Fairfield, 8-2; p. Kameron Reum, Poplar, 2:26; dec. Tristian Stygles, Havre, 10-7.
160 — Percy Bechtold, bye; p. R.J. Knoll, Arlee, 3:05; p. by Cade Ball, Fort Benton, 1:11; p. Jacob Hjartarson, Cut Bank, 1:36; p. Wyatt Rauch, Jefferson County, :18; dec. by Joe Ramos, Valier, 5-11; p. Ball, 2:24.
182 — Jared Selander p. by Austin Vanek, Cut Bank, 3:29; dec. Quinn Boogman, Fergus County, 7-4; p. Ethan Sullivan, Cut Bank, 2:17; dec. by Cael Giles, Fairfield, 0-4.
205 — Carter Morgan p. Damian Ort, Fort Benton, :49; p. Sebastien Mansfield, CJI, :46; p. Jeyden Sullivan, Jefferson County, 1:09; dec. by Randy Tommerup, Havre, 4-8.
285 — Jacob Major, bye; dec. by Wyatt Dunbar, Chinook, 4-7; bye; p. Zale Thomas, Havre, 1:43; m. dec. by Jacob Berger, Poplar, 2-12; dec. Ryan Simpson, Shelby, 6-1.
1. Poplar, 49; 2. Havre and Simms, 45; 4. Harlem, 41; 5. Cut Bank, 38; 6. Cascade, 32; 7. Fergus County, 31; 8. Chinook, 25; 9. CJI, 18; 10. Valier, 12; 11. Choteau, 11; 12. Heart Butte, 9; 13. Circle, 5.
Choteau individual results
113 — Arionna Gomes p. by Jazmin Gorder, Poplar, 1:19; p. by Izzy Baker, 5:34; p. by Lily Grismer, Cascade, :10; won by forfeit over Cierra Norton, Circle; p. by Rita Bustos, Heart Butte, :32.
170 — Abby Zicke foose p. Shawna Osburn, CJI, 2:34; p. by Hannah Monroe, Valier, :22.