The annual Choteau Classic is considered by some as a mini B/C state tournament. It showcases most of the top contenders from over thirty schools and is a barometer for who is who in the state of Montana.
The Shelby Coyotes brought nine wrestlers to the event to test the waters to see where they stand in their respective weight classes. The roster for Shelby was made up of: Harold Miller (120lbs), Chase Evans (120lbs), Tabris Correa (132lbs), Bryant Mertz (145lbs), Cameron Brusven (145lbs), Tyler Larson (152lbs), Wyatt Brusven (152lbs), Matthew Riehl (205lbs) and Jacob Kingsolver (HWT). The momentum actually started the night before in Fairfield where a mixer was held for local and traveling teams. At the event, the Coyotes went 14-4 as a team. Coach Thad White commented, “I was encouraged with the outcome of this event. The kids won the matches they should have and remained close in the matches they lost. Win or lose, matches at mixers on the night before a major tournament help gain much-needed confidence going into the big event the next day.”
At the Choteau Classic, the team ended up placing 19th out of 31 teams. Only one Shelby Coyote found themselves on the podium at the end of the tournament. Wyatt Brusven placed second at 152lbs. Wyatt was the first seed of the tournament due to his criteria of placing third twice at Choteau in the past and placing third and sixth at the state tournament respectively his sophomore and junior years. Brusven received a first-round bye; won by fall over Ruby Shawn of Fairfield in :30; defeated his own teammate, Tyler Larson, in the quarterfinals by fall in 3:16 and then won by decision over Austin Vanek of Cut Bank 7-1 in the semi-finals. In the finals, Wyatt lost to Dylan Raihl of Columbus-Absarokee by decision 9-5 bringing home the second place medal. Raihl is ranked second in the state just behind Matthew Weber of Forsyth. The Raihl-Brusven match-up has happened multiple times over the years and looks to be one to look forward to leading up to the state tournament in February.
The team will have a busy week ahead of them. They will travel to Fort Benton, Valier and Chinook for mixers. They will cap off the week with a tournament in Harlem on Saturday.