The 2019 Cut Bank Booster Invitational played host to twenty-seven schools from Montana and Canada.
This perennial tournament typically signifies the halfway point of the season and for the Shelby Coyotes, it gives a look at the top wrestlers at each weight class in the division. With only six wrestlers in attendance, only four were eligible to score team points, the team placed 15th out of 27 and three individual wrestlers stood on the podium when the dust settled.
The young Coyote squad consisted of Harold Miller (120lbs), Tabris Correa (132lbs), Cameron Brusven (145lbs), Bryant Mertz (152lbs), Tyler Larson (152lbs) and Wyatt Brusven (152lbs).
At 120lbs, freshman Harold Miller placed 4th at the tourney. He defeated Carsten Manring of Three Forks by fall in 0:38, lost to Cameron Pleninger of Havre by major decision 9-0, won by fall over Betty Martin of Poplar in 2:12, won by fall over Cael Nearhoof of Lewistown in 4:33, won by fall over Kierrin Rooney of Cut Bank in 1:46, won by fall over Caleb Simpson of Cut Bank in 2:06 and then won by decision over Isaiah Dormandy of Great Falls High 9-5. Miller lost to Roman Sparks of Thompson Falls in the consolation championship match by decision 5-1. Harold boasted a record of 6-2 for the tournament.
At 152lbs, junior Tyler Larson placed 5th at the tourney. Tyler received a first-round bye, won by fall over Ianis Cuciureanu of Conrad in 0:48, won by fall over Hunter Decker of Simms in 4:57, lost to Connor Harris of Havre in 0:53, lost to Nate Cargill by fall in 0:25 and won by decision over Treyvn Nave of Lewistown 7-5 in the 5th/6th consolation final.
Also at 152lbs, senior Wyatt Brusven was the only seeded wrestler for Shelby. The seeding criterion only consists of past Cut Bank Tourney placing and state tournament placing. Brusven placed 3rd twice at the tourney and placed 3rd and 6th respectively at the state tournament in Billings. For this reason, he was seeded second.
Wyatt received a first-round bye, won by fall over Austin Vanek of Cut Bank in 5:40, won by fall over Brantley Saar of Lethbridge Collegiate Institute in 5:11, won by major decision over Treyvn Nave of Lewistown 10-1 and lost to the number one see Connor Harris of Havre 6-2 in the championship match placing second for the tourney.
At 145lbs, Cameron Brusven went 4-2. Also at 152lbs, Bryant Mertz went 0-2 at the Invitational but went 1-2 at the JV tourney held at the middle school gym on Saturday.
Coach Thad White stated, “I am pleased with individual performances and overall where the team stands in the Northern B/C Division. We were a little short-handed this weekend as a team but will be ready to bounce back with a fuller roster this weekend in Choteau. Some of the younger kids are starting to adjust to the varsity level and are making better decisions on the mat. Staying healthy and motivated will be our biggest challenge leading up to the Divisional Tournament at Cut Bank in late January.”
The team will travel to Fairfield on Thursday for a mixer and then to the Choteau Classic on Friday and Saturday.