The Lovell Bulldogs wrestling squad matched up with teams from the other side of the state at the annual Moorcroft Mixer Friday and Saturday.
As a team, the Bulldogs placed 10th with 48.5 points, 15.5 points ahead of Hulett and 3.5 points behind Lemmon, S.D.
“The tournament continues to increase in the strength of the level of competition,” coach Nick DeWitt said. “We saw highly skilled teams from Montana and South Dakota, not to mention Thunder Basin, Sheridan and Newcastle.”
In individual results, sophomore Quinton Hecker placed fourth at 120 pounds. Hecker defeated Dawson Buckalew of Colstrip, Mont., 5-4 in the first round before falling to Christian McCarty of Spearfish, S.D., 10-8 in the quarterfinals.
In the consolation bracket, Hecker defeated Baran Lechner of Thunder Basin 9-4 in the second round, Dalton Amsden of Broadus, Mont. 17-6 in the third round and Carlos Martinez of Hettinger, N.D., 7-3 in the semifinals before falling to Kale Corley of Newcastle 10-2 in the third-place match.
“Quinton had a large bracket,” DeWitt said. “He got a ton of matches in this weekend. Throughout the tournament, he continued to find areas he needs to improve in to become a state champion.”
Sophomore Coy Trainor took fourth at 220 pounds. Trainor pinned Peyton Morris of Moorcroft in the first round in 54 seconds and Austin Crotteau of Spearfish in the quarterfinals in 30 seconds before falling to Trey Yates of Colstrip 3-1 in the semifinals.
In the consolation bracket, Trainor defeated Lane Mosteller of Moorcroft 6-0 in the semifinals before falling to Marc Williams of Spearfish 3-1 in the third-place match.
“Coy ran into a few roadblocks from out of state,” DeWitt said. “He wrestled really well. Just the competition, you could tell they were more mature and experienced.”
Junior Kelly Powell placed sixth at 195 pounds. After receiving a bye in the first round, Powell fell to Phoenix Buske of Wright 12-2 in the quarterfinals.
In the consolation bracket, Powell stuck Dylen Johnson of Thunder Basin in 2:04 in the second round and Sam Urwiller of Hettinger 5-4 in the third round. Powell then fell to Solomon Petz of Moorcroft 13-0 in the semifinals and Buske again in the fifth-place match, 7-0.
“Kelly continues to improve and impress,” DeWitt said. “He is constantly working to get better and is always showing his leadership off the mat.”
Junior Jack Steed went 2-2 at 145 pounds, beating Darrian Black of Moorcroft 9-0 in the second round and Tryston Truempler of Shoshoni 3-0 in the consolation fourth round.
Junior Kerry Powell also went 2-2 at 182 pounds, defeating Chance Watt of Sheridan 9-6 in the first round and Camden McArthur of Sheridan 13-6 in the consolation second round.
Freshman Cardon Mickelson went 1-2 at 106 pounds, defeating Blake Durfee of Newcastle 21-4 in the first round for his lone win in the tournament.
Freshman Asher Nicholson went 1-2 at 120 pounds, pinning Kyler Afrank of Baker, Mont., in one minute for his single win.
Other Bulldog wrestlers competing at the Moorcroft Mixer were freshman Kyler Marchant at 113 pounds, junior Alex Nicholson at 126 pounds, senior Logan Nunn at 145 pounds and freshman Cruz Garcia at 285 pounds.
“The team as a whole, with a few exceptions, wrestled really well and showed me their capabilities and where we’re at in comparison to other states,” DeWitt said. “I also have to remember that Montana and South Dakota are farther along in their seasons then we are.”
Tuesday, Lovell hosted Powell in a dual. It was also senior night for Nunn and Jared Wilkerson.
The Bulldogs fell to the Panthers 46-21. Kerry Powell beat Mathew Seckman 6-3 at 195 pounds, Trainor won by forfeit at 220 pounds, Marchant pinned Zane Cordes at 113 and Hecker pinned Trevor Feller at 120 pounds.
The Bulldogs will now compete in the Ron Thon Memorial Tournament this Friday and Saturday in Riverton. JV wrestling will begin Friday at 9 a.m. and continue on Saturday at 9 a.m. Varsity wrestling will begin Friday at 9:45 a.m. and continue on Saturday at 9:45 a.m.
Lovell will put five in the JV division in Riverton: Dallas Oliver at 182 pounds, Garcia at 285, Marchant at 113, Asher Nicholson at 120 and Mickelson at 106. The rest will be in the varsity division.
“It’s a great tournament to see some amazing competition and see where each individual truly sits within their weight class in the state,” DeWitt said.
“My expectations are to win individually and as a team. Realistically, we won’t fill all 14 weights in the varsity division, so my expectations are altered slightly. I want to see each individual gain ground and make improvements on the season and to enjoy the high level of competition they’ll get to experience.”
By Sam Smith