The Whitefish wrestlers fought hard at state but couldn’t advance on and keep the season alive.
Whitefish sent five wrestlers to state, Nathan Sproul, Dean Kellogg, Dakota Flannery, Jack Eisenbarth and Robert Bertlesen.
Flannery made it to the second day of wrestling, but a slip-up in his final match gave his opponent the advantage, head coach Ryan Boyle said.
“We felt pretty confident going into that last match. It was tied 1-1 and there was about 50 seconds left and we tried something we shouldn’t have tried and got caught on our back and that was the end of the tournament for us,” he said.
Boyle said a lot of the weekend came down to how the wrestlers were seeded.
“A lot of our kids, they just didn’t have good draws. Just the way they finished the divisional tournament, they had tougher kids off the bat,” he said.
As the season comes to a close, Boyle said he’s proud of how his wrestlers competed.
While the state tournament didn’t go as planned, Boyle said there’s more to it than just one tournament.
“You get down to the end of the season and it’s hard not to focus on how you finished. We didn’t finish as well as I hoped, but if you look a the whole season and how we wrestled, it was some of the best team chemistry we’ve had. We did some really good things in tournaments and duals,” he said.
“We’ve got to figure out how to step up our competition. When it comes to the state and divisional tournaments and things get real tough, we’ve got to figure out how to rise to that and match that. And that’s what we didn’t do these last couple weeks. We need to figure out how to get through those mentally and physically and come out with the win.”
Team scores: Sidney-Fairview 250, Havre 188, Lewistown 185, Polson 134, Frenchtown 130, Glendive 117.5, Hardin 110, Columbia Falls 108, Ronan 70, Hamilton-Darby 66, Libby-Troy 53.5, Dillon-Twin Bridges-Sheridan 42.5, Miles City 39.5, Belgrade 38, Browning 30.5, Laurel 29, Billings Central 23, Stevensville-Victor 20, Corvallis 17, Livingston 16, Butte Central 15, Whitefish 10.
Champ. Round 1 - Wyatt Mager (Fergus (Lewistown)) over Nathan Sproul (Whitefish) (Fall 0:33)
Cons. Round 1 - Ashton Flamand (Browning) over Nathan Sproul (Whitefish) (Fall 2:49)
Champ. Round 1 - Jordan Darby (Sidney / Fairview) over Dean Kellogg (Whitefish) (MD 10-0)
Cons. Round 1 - Dean Kellogg (Whitefish) over Cael Nearhoof (Fergus (Lewistown)) (For.)
Cons. Round 2 - Mateo Quinones (Polson) over Dean Kellogg (Whitefish) (Fall 3:00)
Champ. Round 1 - Dakota Flannery (Whitefish) over Gage Meyer (Belgrade) (Dec 5-3)
Quarterfinals - Jace Winter (Sidney / Fairview) over Dakota Flannery (Whitefish) (Fall 1:00)
Cons. Round 2 - Dakota Flannery (Whitefish) over Colton Reidel (Dawson Co. (Glendive)) (MD 12-2)
Cons. Round 3 - Jeffery Offenbecher (Libby / Troy) over Dakota Flannery (Whitefish) (Fall 4:35)
Champ. Round 1 - Duane Otto II (Fergus (Lewistown)) over Jack Eisenbarth (Whitefish) (MD 18-7)
Cons. Round 1 - Jack Eisenbarth (Whitefish) over Kaleb Unger (Polson) (Fall 4:47)
Cons. Round 2 - Victor Howieson (Park (Livingston)) over Jack Eisenbarth (Whitefish) (MD 8-0)
Champ. Round 1 - Riley Waters (Sidney / Fairview) over Robert Bertelsen (Whitefish) (Fall 3:47)
Cons. Round 1 - Kon Speelmon (Custer Co. (Miles City)) over Robert Bertelsen (Whitefish) (Dec 7-0)