Rocky wrestlers take second and sixth at State

Of the three wrestlers from RMHS competing at the 2012 WHSAA 2A State Wrestling Championships in Casper this past weekend two placed.

Jake Jones took second for the third year in a row after an official essentially decided the last match of the tournament for him with a penalty for stalling against Greybull’s Luke Zeller. Up until that point the boys were tied 1-1 but the penalty essentially gave the winning point to Zeller allowing him to win 2-1.

Rocky Mountain junior Jake Jones battles Greybull/Riverside’s Luke Zeller in the 152-pound title match at the State Wrestling Tournament Saturday night in Casper.

“This is actually the third time he (Jones) has placed second at State,” said Coach Josh Collins. “As a freshman, a sophomore and now as a junior he placed second again. Essentially the official is the one who called the stalling, and with that call, he was the one who decided the match.”

In spite of the obvious disappointment, Jones held his head high and maintained good sportsmanship throughout.

Up to that point, Jones was in a good position to take first in the 152-pound class after pinning his first opponent Tucker Eben of Midwest High School in the first period and winning both his second and third matches on points.

In his second match with Weston Louth of Lingle-Ft. Laramie, a top contender from the other side of the state, Jones won 4-2. Louth placed first in Regionals on his side of the state the week before.

“It went the entire match and Jake came out victorious,” said Collins.

Collins thought it was a good match with Jones getting points for two take-downs and Louth getting points for his escapes.

In his third match with Nathan Grant of Lovell he won 12-3. Jones and Grant competed against each other two times earlier in the season with each winning one match against the other.

Jones threw Grant to his back, taking 5 points in the first period, ending the period 5-0. In the second period, he threw him on his back again for another 5 points. Grant gave away a point to Jones when he was penalized for locking hands. Up to that point, the score was 12-0. In the final period, Grant picked up a few points for an escape and a take-down ending the match 12-3, with Jones the victor.

Jones ended the tournament with a 3-1 record. Since Jones is only a junior, he has one more shot at being number one in the state if he takes the championship title next year.

Freshman Tyler Lindquist placed sixth overall at the tournament after winning three out of six matches against his opponents in the 106-pound class.

Lindquist pinned Jason Nelson of HEM in the first match of the tournament but lost on points in his second match with Kole Schell of Moorcroft, 7-3. He won his third match after pinning Trey Smith of Lovell in the third and also pinned Nathan Martinez of Wright in the third.

The tables turned on Lindquist in his fifth match when he was pinned by Tyler Pohlman of Burns/Pine Bluffs in the second period.

His last match of the day was a fairly close one with Colt Larson of Cokeville, but he lost to Larson in the last 20 seconds of the last period, 7-4.

“Larson is a junior and it was a very close match for Tyler who is only a freshman,” said Collins. “He came very close to pulling it off but didn’t quite make it.”

Justin Smith also competed four times in the 106-pound class, ending his tournament record 2-2. Smith won his first match with Shoshoni’s Matt Dillion 16-0, then was pinned in his second match by Dallas Taylor in the second period. He won his third match by default after his opponent, Trinity Nitchmen of Shoshoni, was disqualified for illegal moves but lost his fourth match with Cokeville’s Larson in the first period.

“I’m really impressed with how many improvements these kids have shown throughout the year,” said Collins. “I hope they come back again next year. Jake will be team captain again for us and he is a great person to have on the team.”

By Patti Carpenter