- Your Town
Dillon earns mixed results on mats
The Dillon Beaver wrestlers got mixed results in mixers in Hamilton on Thursday and on their own mats in Dillon on Friday afternoon.
Coming into Hamilton, Dillon had three wrestlers ranked among the best in the state. These rankings are voted on by the coaches and provide a good indication of where an athlete truly sits in the state of Montana.
Sophomore phenom Kohltin Starkel has made his presence known and is currently ranked third in Class A in the 106-pound division. Junior 195-pounder Parker Tezak went into the Hamilton mixer ranked second, but got caught by an opponent from Hamilton and will likely see himself slip a spot or two in the defeat.
And heavyweight Donovan Hucke finds himself also in the second position behind the tall grappler out of Browning, Dakota Rutherford. Rutherford beat Hucke last year in the semifinals of the state tournament, forcing him into the third-fourth place match, which Donovan went on to win.
Stevensville, Hamilton and Corvallis all represented the Bitterroot Valley in the Hamilton mixer. Although Starkel and Hucke both went undefeated in Hamilton, it was freshman Patrick Griffin who stole the show for the Dillon team. Griffin went 4-0 on the night, working his way through some good competition in the always tough 152-pound weight class.
On Friday, the Dillon team was back home, where they welcomed Anaconda, Butte High and Bozeman into the B.W. Lodge gym. Back-to-back days of wrestling competition are always hard on the kids that are cutting pounds, and with a noon weigh-in, this mixer proved no exception.
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In a wrestling mixer format, no team scores are kept. Athletes compete in rounds in which they could get matched up against anyone in their weight class from another school.
In Dillon, the Beaver boys came out ready to wrestle and looking to rebound from a somewhat flat performance the night before.
Again Starkel was able to show his great mat sense by going undefeated and Hucke not only ran the table, he was able to avenge an early season loss at the CMR tourney by beating Anaconda’s Bryce Wigert, with a 3-2 decision.
Tezak also proved that his loss the night before was just a fluke, as he went undefeated on the day.
Bridger Nelson had a solid performance and showed that he has his old man’s blood coursing through his veins, when he came back from being down by 4 points to pin his opponent with just 4 seconds left on the clock.
Junior John Rickard also did well for the Beavers with some competitive matches in front of the home crowd. John has stepped up onto the varsity roster, filling the role vacated by the injured Chance Snellman.
“Chance is really going to be missed,” said Hucke, who is now Dillon’s lone senior on the team.
“He brings a great feeling when he walks in the room and it stinks that this is the way his great senior season comes to an end,” added Hucke of his teammate, who recently suffered a major knee injury.
“My ACL is completely ruptured and my meniscus is torn in two places, so I go in for surgery on Friday,” said Snellman, one of the captains of this year’s Beaver team.
“I plan on staying with the team to help Starkel out because I wanna see him succeed. He’s gonna have to really step it up because I’m not gonna be there all the time to push him in practice. I wanna show the team that even though I can’t be out there scrapping it out with them, I’ll still be by their sides all the way to state.”
This week, Beavers Head Coach TJ Nelson and his crew will head to a mixer in Anaconda on Thursday, and then give a little rest to the kids that are a banged up before the Class A duals in Lewiston next weekend.
“I am looking forward to working on technique and polishing up some little things,” said Nelson. “This is a good week to work on conditioning and the mental aspects of wrestling.”