Rocky Mountain High School junior Brian Crawford and senior Wes Homewood took first place in their respective weight classes at the 2A West Regional Wrestling Tournament Friday in Cowley.
“They both wrestled good,” coach Josh Collins said. “I would like to see them also take first at State.”
As a team, the Grizzlies finished second out of 11 team with 175 points, 20.5 points behind regional champion Cokeville but 26.5 points ahead of Lyman and 35 points ahead of fourth-place Greybull/Riverside.
Crawford won the 106-pound bracket, going 3-0 after receiving a bye in the first round. He pinned Kylee Smith of Kemmerer in 39 seconds in the quarterfinal round, stuck Jonathan Hagen of Thermopolis in 56 seconds in the semifinals and pinned Colton Ellison of Lyman in 1:34 in the championship match to win the title.
“Brian took second at State his freshman and sophomore years,” Collins said. “It would be nice to see him get the title this year.”
Homewood won the 285-pound bracket, going 2-0 after receiving a bye in the first round and in the quarterfinals, pinning Brooks Woody of Shoshoni in 35 seconds in the semifinals and Chase Meeker of Big Piney in 3:30 to win the title.
“Wes took third last year at State and he is ranked number one this year,” Collins said.
Junior Garrett Vezain went 2-1 in the 220-pound bracket to place second. Vezain received a bye in the first round, then pinned Dade Greene from Greybull/Riverside in his quarterfinal match in one minute to advance to the semifinals. In the semifinals, Vezain pinned TJ Frazier of Big Piney in 42 seconds before he fell to Patrick Forester of Shoshoni in the championship match in 1:49.
“Garrett took third at State last year and is ranked second this year,” Collins said. “I want Vezain to make it to the finals and beat the Forester kid from Shoshoni.”
Junior Connor Holzwarth went 1-1 in the 195-pound bracket to place second by pinning Ames Tschiffely of Greybull/Riverside in the semifinal in 3:51 before falling to Dryden Minck of Lyman in the championship match in 48 seconds.
“He had a really close match to get into the finals,” Collins said. “We’ll see what he does at State.”
Burlington High School sophomore Malachi Cook went 3-1 in the 113-pound bracket to place third. After receiving a bye in the first round, Cook pinned Tyler Rasmussen of Lyman in the quarterfinals in 1:33, fell to Luis Burgos of Greybull/Riverside in the semifinals in 2:23 and pinned Klayton Rose of Dubois in the consolation semifinals in 1:49 before winning a 7-0 decision over Kyle Laird of Wind River in the third-place match.
“I expect him to place at State,” Collins said.
Rocky sophomore Stephen Preator went 3-1 in the 120-pound bracket to place third. After receiving a bye in the first round, Preator won his quarterfinal match by pinning Kobe Tillman of Wyoming Indian in 38 seconds, fell in his semifinal match against Jorge Carmona of Greybull/Riverside on a 20-5 technical fall and won a 10-1 major decision over Charles Ward of Greybull/Riverside in the consolation semifinals before winning his third-place match over Chase Waite of Thermopolis on a pin in 1:43.
“He has good potential of placing at State, which I would love to see,” Collins said.
RMHS senior Shay Bond went 3-1 in the 170-pound bracket to take third place. Bond won a 20-8 major decision over Milton Peden of Thermopolis in the quarterfinals, lost a 11-7 decision to Zac Rose of Dubois in the semifinals and pinned Thomas Pitlock of Big Piney in the consolation semifinals in 3:51 before winning his third-place match over Anthony Eibert of Greybull/Riverside on a 8-2 decision.
“He has a good chance of placing at State also,” Collins said.
Senior Stenson Durand went 2-2 in the 152-pound bracket to finish fourth. Durand lost a 7-4 decision to Colter Hansen of Thermopolis in the quarterfinals, stuck Tanner Hansen of Big Piney in the third round of the consolation bracket in 2:49 and won a 7-2 decision over Zac DuBeau of Shoshoni in the consolation semifinals before falling to Cordell Viehweg on a pin in 1:41 in the third-place match.
Freshman Nathan Hatch placed fourth at 160 pounds. Hatch fell to Gavin Julander of Kemmerer on an 18-1 technical fall, then pinned Skyler Hargrove and Noel Aguirre of Big Piney in the second and third rounds of the consolation bracket. He pinned Wyatt Ramsey of Shoshoni in the consolation semifinal match in 1:18 before falling to Michael Bluemel of Lyman in the third-place match as he was pinned in 2:43.
“I’m expecting a lot of him at State also,” Collins said.
BHS sophomore Danner Davison placed sixth at 138 pounds. Davison fell to Brenton Nelson of Lyman on a 5-1 decision in the quarterfinals, then pinned Brandon Hicks of Lyman in 2:15 in the consolation second round before falling in the third round to Ryan Peoples of Greybull/Riverside with a 4-1 decision.
Grizzly sophomore Dylan Langston placed sixth at 145 pounds. Langston won his first round match by pinning Tyler Long of Big Piney in 4:14, fell to Koy Myers of Thermopolis in the quarterfinals on a pin in 1:29 and won by rule over his teammate Kyle Hoyt before falling to Colton Vangeison of Lyman in his consolation third-round match on a pin in 4:04.
Senior Dylan North placed seventh at 182 pounds. North fell to Justis Fisher of Big Piney on a 12-4 major decision, then pinned Tyson Tobar of Thermopolis in the consolation third-round match before falling to Pat Cornell of Shoshoni in the consolation semifinal match on a 5-3 sudden victory decision.
Senior Daniel Shreeve placed eighth at 195 pounds as Shreeve fell to Hunter Cheney of Cokeville on a pin in 1:02, then fell to Greybull/Riverside’s Ames Tschiffely in an 11-6 decision.
Other Grizzly wrestlers competing at the Regional Tournament were Trevan Lytle at 132 pounds (1-2), Travis Lytle at 132 pounds (1-2), Kyle Hoyt at 145 pounds (1-2), Dalton Wardell at 160 pounds (0-3), Chase Brand at 170 pounds (1-2) and Austin Grohman at 182 pounds (0-2).
The Grizz will now compete at the 2A State Wrestling Tournament Friday and Saturday at the Casper Events Center with action beginning at 9 a.m. each day.
“We are going to do a lot of conditioning and will be working on the same moves and trying
to improve them with each wrestler,” Collins said. “I expect a lot from each wrestler at the state tournament. Moorcroft
will be the tough team to beat from the other side of the state.”
By Sam Smith