And they're off: Winter sports teams open campaigns

Nathan Oster

With Thanksgiving now in the rear view, Greybull High School teams have begun ramping up for their respective season openers, all of which are scheduled for the weekend of Friday, Dec. 9 and Saturday, Dec. 10.

As they typically do, Coach Rob Nuttall’s wrestlers will see their first action at the Powell Invitational.

As of Monday, his roster stood at 20.

“That’s a good number, although we’d always like a few more,” Nuttall said.

Wrestling teams were allowed to start practicing Monday, Nov. 21, so G-R got in a couple of days of work before Thanksgiving.  Fundamentals were the focus – good for all, but particularly for those lacking experience.

“We’ve got a good crew coming back from last year,” said Nuttall. “I foresee a good season, especially if we can get some of our younger guys to contribute.”

G-R placed 10th among 2A teams at last spring’s state tournament in Casper and of the eight wrestlers who qualified for the culminating event, four return: Jake Schlattmann, Curtis Strohschein, Ty Strohschein and Reece Whisenant.

Schlattmann, a second-place finisher at 160, is the team’s most accomplished returnee. 

With good numbers, Nuttall is hopeful of being able to fill every one of the weight classes, with 195 or 220 being a possible exception.


Girls basketball

The Lady Buffs will spend the first weekend in Wright, competing at the Coal Miner’s Classic.  

Jeff Hunt is back on the bench, returning to the head coaching role he left in the spring of 2020.

The Lady Buffs experienced a down year in 2021-22, finishing 5-18 and bowing out in two games at regionals.  They also lost their only first-team all-conference selection, senior Grace Sanford, to graduation. But the cupboard, as they say, isn’t bare.

Hunt said he’s excited to be coaching the team again, calling the first week or so of practices “awesome.” They have been high energy by design, he said. The point is to get the girls to focus and put in more effort. Going back to middle school, this particular group of juniors and seniors has had a different coach just about every year, he said.

As of Tuesday, his roster stood at 18.

“I think we’ll be competitive,” said Hunt. “We don’t have a lot of scoring or one of those go-to scorers just yet, but teams will struggle with our defense. We’re as athletic as any of the teams we’ll play, we can get up and down the court and have some kids who can jump out of the gym.

“We just don’t have a lot of depth yet because we are so young.”


Boys basketball

Coach Logan Burningham’s team enjoyed a bounce-back season in 2021-22, topping the .500 mark for the first time since 2016 by finishing 13-12. But the team fell short of its ultimate goal of qualifying for the state tournament and contending for the 2A crown.

They’ll be in Glenrock opening weekend, competing at the Herder Classic.

With strong numbers across the four classes, Greybull’s roster stood at 29 at the beginning of this week.  The nucleus of last year’s squad returns, including all-conference performers Cale Wright and Carlos Rodriguez.  Rodriguez, a junior, also made the all-state team.

“We’ve got high hopes,” said Burningham. “We have a lot of experience coming back and at this point, I think we are ahead of where we’ve been in past years.  There are definitely things we need to do well that will help us get to our goals.  We’ve really been emphasizing those.

“But 2A basketball is tough and it didn’t get any easier with Kemmerer dropping down from 3A, Riverside moving to 1A and Wind River joining our conference this year.”