The Choteau High School wrestling team will take a road trip to the Western Division this weekend, wrestling in a double dual with St. Ignatius and Florence-Carlton at St. Ignatius at 4 p.m. on Friday, then driving Friday night to Bigfork for a double dual with Bigfork and Plains-Hot Springs on Saturday.
Bigfork High School is paying for the Choteau team’s motel rooms. “They are paying to host us. That’s wonderful,” Choteau head coach Sam Armstrong said on Monday.
Typically, Choteau’s wrestlers do not travel to the Western Division, but this year, with just two “super divisions” for Western and Eastern teams, Armstrong said the Choteau team needed the chance to wrestle some western teams for seeding purposes going into the post-season.
He also noted that several Bigfork wrestling volunteers have helped with the Choteau Classic wrestling tournament in the past so there was a connection there that helped get these double duals scheduled. Armstrong said he hopes to be able to continue this weekend’s competition in the future.
Last week, Choteau took seven boys and one girl to double duals on Jan. 8 at Cut Bank with Cut Bank, Choteau and Fairfield and on Jan. 9 at Shelby with Whitehall and Simms. The only wrestler missing from the lineup was Jeff Colesworthy, who is recovering from a non-wrestling injury, and will be back this week.
“Overall, their enthusiasm going into the weekend was great. I had a lot of compliments from opposing teams on how they wrestled Friday night,” Armstrong said.
Last weekend marked the first time Sadie Grove was able to wrestle against other female opponents. She wrestled once at Cut Bank and twice at Shelby, and while she lost all three matches, Armstrong said she is strong and improving all the time. This is her first season wrestling, he said, so she has a learning curve to tackle to get up to speed to wrestle other girls who have been in the program longer.
Armstrong said all of the team members wrestled well on the weekend. Junior Jacob Major, who weighs 200 pounds and is wrestling at the heavyweight level (285 pounds) has been in wrestling since he was in fifth grade and is looking very good so far this season, the coach said.
Armstrong named Major the team’s wrestler of the week after he avenged an earlier loss to Issac Lauver of Fairfield and defeated two wrestlers at Shelby. He also nabbed the team’s quick pin honors with a :07 pin at Cut Bank. “He is rally catching on and doing well,” Armstrong said.
Most exciting match honors went to Kaide Kindler at 145 pounds as he wrestled Mikey Leach of Simms to a 9-4 victory. “He was entirely dominant in the entire match,” Armstrong said, adding that Kindler was taken down only once and stayed in position and made thoughtful decisions. “It was a stark difference from a week ago,” Armstrong said.
He and assistant coach Levi Guenzler will continue to work with all nine wrestlers on minor corrections that showed up in form or execution last week, and Armstrong said he is excited to see the wrestlers improve and wrestle with enthusiasm.
Cut Bank Mixer
126 — Blair Smith, Choteau, p. by Richard Schmidt, Cut Bank, 1:03; p. Kaven Krapf, Cut Bank, :34.
145 — Kaide Kindler, Choteau, dec. McCoy Banner, Fairfield, 8-1; p. by Matt Larson, Cut Bank, 3:27.
152 — Sadie Grove, Choteau, p. by Mariah Wahl, Cut Bank, :39.
152 — Percy Bechtold, Choteau, p. Jacob Hjararson, Cut Bank, 2:02; p. Brock Barcus, Cut Bank, 2:48.
182 — Jared Selander, Choteau, p. Giavante Evans, Fairfield, 2:02; p. by Austin Vanek, Cut Bank, 1:13.
182 — Gus Lee, Choteau, p. Ethan Sullivan, Cut Bank, 2:45; p. Josh Spittler, Cut Bank, :49.
205 — Carter Morgan, Choteau, p. Troy Cole, Fairfield, :51; p. Giavante Evans, 1:21.
285 — Jacob Major, Choteau, dec. Isaac Lauver, Fairfield, 7-4; p. Haylee Fetters, Cut Bank, :07.
145 — Kaide Kindler p. Lucas Kincade, Simms, 2:20; dec. Mikey Leech, Simms, 9-4.
152 — Percy Bechtold p. by Dallon Hoover, Whitehall, 3:52; p. Kaleb Bean, Simms, 2:05.
152 — Sadie Grove p. by Skylar Connelly, Valier, 3:59; p. by Kenzy Best, Whitehall, 1:59.
170 — Jared Selander p. Justin Kuel, Whitehall, :12; p. by Miles Hoarauf, Whitehall, 3:15 (wrestling at 182).
182 — Gus Lee p. Bryant Merton, Shelby, :39; p. by Cam Brusven, Shelby, 1:08.
205 — Carter Morgan p. by Lane Hinderager, Simms, 1:58; dec. Leo Scafani, Whitehall, 8-5.
285 — Jacob Major p. Michael Art, Shelby, :33; p. Ryan Simpson, Shelby, 1:27.