The annual Whitehall Duals were held this past weekend. Twenty-one teams competed for the top dual meet position in the two-day team tournament. Nine members of the Shelby Coyote Wrestling Team wanted to prove that they were capable of big things this season. On day one of the events, the Coyotes would square off with familiar and not so familiar opponents.
The first dual was against a stacked Broadwater (Townsend) team. The balance of wins went to the Bulldogs with a score of 30-18. A notable win for Shelby came from the 160lbs weight class when Wyatt Brusven defeated 3-time state place-winner Kameron Rouser by decision 8-3.
The second dual meet was against Cascade. Shelby showed no mercy in defeating the Badgers 42-12. Matthew Riehl got a big win at 205lbs against Dylan Kline by fall in 5:02.
The final dual meet of day one was against the fledgling program of Manhattan. Shelby handily won the bout by a score of 42-12. Harold Miller won his third match of the day at 126lbs by fall in 5:39 against Porter Blanchard.
The 2-1 dual meet finish on day one placed the Coyotes in the day two championship bracket for the first time in many years. On day two, only eight teams remained.
Day two proved that having a full team or not would make all of the difference. Since forfeits count for six team points, the Coyotes started most matches behind in the scoring by a significant amount. This meant that each member of the young Coyote squad would have to win and win big in order to be in contention.
The first dual of day two was against the Trojans of Whitehall. The atmosphere was charged for the home team which carried the momentum their way from the start. The dual was won by the Trojans 36-6. The most exciting and controversial match was at 126lbs when Harold Miller lost to Trentin Walker in a 5-6 decision that had to be decided by a referee watching the match mat side. It was later decided that the match actually should have been permitted to go to overtime since the scoring was changed during the 3rd period and not the 2nd period where a scoring error occurred. Although the match did not decide the outcome of the dual, it was a teachable moment for the wrestlers, coaches, and officials.
Now in the consolation bracket and in a lose and you are out situation, the Coyotes would faceoff with Boulder/Jefferson County. In dual meets, points and how you obtain them, make all of the difference. Decisions equal three team points, major decisions four, technical falls five and falls and/or forfeits account for six. It all came down to the heavyweight match which didn’t go in favor of Shelby. The final match was lost by way of fall giving Jefferson the win. The Coyotes lost the final dual by the score of 20-21.
All was not lost in the category of experience and knowledge gained though. The Coyotes went 25-19 as individuals and the team placed 8th out of 21 teams. Individual performances include: Chase Evans 120lbs 1-4, Harold Miller 126lbs 3-2, Evan McCants 132lbs 2-3, Tabris Correa 138lbs 4-2, Cameron Brusven 145lbs 4-1, Tyler Larson 152lbs 3-2, Wyatt Brusven 160lbs 3-0, Matthew Riehl 205lbs 2-3 and Jacob Kingsolver HWT 3-2.
The Coyotes will travel to Fort Benton on Thursday for a mixer and then to the CMR Holiday Classic on Friday and Saturday.