Wrestling action continued this weekend with a pit-stop in Fairfield on Thursday night for a mixer and then the 40th Choteau Classic.
Sub-zero temperatures did not keep heated action from taking place on Friday into Saturday. The Classic boasted thirty-one teams and over 500 wrestlers this year with a peak at potential B/C state place winner match-ups.
The Shelby Coyotes were looking to test the waters and throw their hats in the ring at a chance to be at the top of the heap. Three Coyotes made the trip to Bulldog country: Tabris Correa (126lbs), Wyatt Brusven (145lbs), and Matthew Riehl (170lbs).
Wyatt was the first seed at 145lbs and received at first round bye. Tabris was unseeded but also had a first-round bye at 126lbs. Matthew was also unseeded and was not as lucky in the bye drawings. Matthew found himself in the “pigtail” round and a loss and you are out, situation. Up for the challenge, Riehl was paired with Kyle Cumming of Bigfork and won by fall in 3:02 placing him in the double-elimination bracket.
This was Tabris’ first time at the 126-pound weight class this season. His first match was against Logan Boadle of Poplar. Boadle won the match by fall in 3:01 and would eventually place 6th. In the consolation bracket, Tabris wasted no time with a win against Kevin Masterson of Great Falls Central Catholic by fall in :25. Correa’s day ended too soon with a loss to Wyatt Theard of Anaconda by fall in 2:20. Tabris is hoping to adjust to his new weight class in time for the Northern B/C Divisionals.
Wyatt Brusven, after placing 3rd at the Cut Bank Invitational and having a sensational start to the season, was the first seed at Choteau. His first opponent was Forest Fairbanks of Manhattan. Brusven won by fall in 1:27. In the quarter-finals, he would face Austin Stafford of Plains/Hot Springs. In a tough match, Brusven would win by decision over the Savage Horseman 10-4. The semi-final match against Dylan Raihl of Columbus/Absarokee wouldn’t go in Brusven’s favor losing by decision 10-6. Raihl eventually placed 2nd. In the consolation bracket, Kyle Evans would be Brusven’s next victim with a win by fall in :52. The win propelled Wyatt into the consolation final against Austin Stafford once again. Brusven is a quick study and adapts to his opponents with ease. Wyatt won the bout by decision 13-6 giving him 3rd place.
Matthew Riehl had no idea what type of ride he was getting into as a freshman in a very tough weight class. After winning his match in the pigtail round, Matthew ran into 25-4 senior Kyle Spritzer of Townsend. If statistics, age, and record were the determining factor of winning, for all intents and purposes, Matthew would have lost. “Just go out and wrestle” was Riehl’s mantra for this match. After a back and forth match, Matthew would summon strength and determination he didn’t know he had and won the match by fall in 5:49. His next opponent was none other than Valier’s Dylan Monroe. Despite a valiant effort from Matthew, he would lose the match by fall in 5:29. Monroe eventually placed 2nd. His next draw was hometown boy Bryan Ballard of Choteau. The match started fast and furious to the point Ballard had Riehl in an aggressive and ultimately illegal pinning combination injuring Riehl. The move was unintentional but rendered Riehl unable to finish the match. Riehl won the match by disqualification. After a trip to the local medical center, Matthew was sore but cleared to wrestle the next day. His first match the very next day did not go as planned in which he lost by fall in 2:59 against Tyler Stevens of Great Falls CC. Stevens would eventually place 5th.
With only three scoring wrestlers, the Coyotes tied for 24th at the Choteau Classic. The team will travel to Valier on Thursday night for a mixer, to Chinook on Friday night for a mixer and then to the Harlem Invitational on Saturday.
The regular season will end with a mixer at Cut Bank next Thursday, January 25th. The Northern B/C Divisional Tournament will be in Malta on Saturday, February 3rd.