G-R returns nine state qualifiers

Nathan Oster

Team heading to Powell for opener

With nine state qualifiers returning, Greybull-Riverside is poised to improve on last year’s 11th-place finish at the State 2A Wrestling Championships in Casper.
The team’s journey begins later this week at the Powell Invitational, which is the traditional opener for most Wyoming teams and the second or third meet for the Montana schools that cross the border to join them.
Coach Rob Nuttall said the first two weeks of practice have gone well.
“Everyone’s working hard and I’m happy with where we are at — although as wrestling coaches, I don’t know if we’re ever as far along as we’d like to be,” he said.
The first thing that stands out about this year’s team is the roster, which as of Monday, stood at 24.
Based on last year’s finish, Loomis Alexander, a sophomore, is the team’s top returnee, placing fourth at 120 pounds.
Ty Strohschein, a senior, captured fifth place at 182 pounds “but could easily have been top two or three,” according to Nuttall.
Curtis Strohschein, a junior, placed sixth in the heavyweight division and is a two-time state placer.
The other returning state qualifiers include seniors Erik Rosales and Kevin Rosales, juniors Reese Whisenant and Braxdon Engle and sophomores Caiden Sorenson and Ben Mendenhall.  Whisenant, Engle and Sorenson not only qualified, but won matches and made runs at placing.
Rounding out the boys squad are senior Chris Dalin, junior Payton Hoffman, sophomores Camden Schriner and Garrett Wiggins and freshman Levi Potter, Bennett Sanford, Jesse Brown, Sy Schlattmann, Carter Peasley, Izak Newman, Ethan Preetorious and Shawn August.
Nuttall said he isn’t sure what the lineup will look like, but believes he’ll be able to fill all but one or two weight classes.
“We’ve got some kids who are more than capable of performing at a high level and being in the thick of it for an individual state title and we’d love to see that for them,” said Nuttall. “As a team, we’ll be more experienced, top to bottom, than we have been.  We won’t be quite so green at every weight or have a lot of experience at one or two weights but very green everywhere else.
“I don’t think there’s a coach in any sport whose goal isn’t to win a team title.  That’s our goal, too. At the very least, we’re hoping to finish inside the top four or five, but for that to happen, we need to get everyone to improve and qualify the ones we need to qualify.”
Nuttall is bullish on the prospects of the G-R girls team, calling it a “salty” squad.  What it lacks in numbers it makes up for in quality, as junior Gabby Dowling brings experience and incoming freshmen Ellie Holloway and Tawny Bertolini were middle school standouts who competed at a national tournament in Iowa with other members of a Wyoming all-star team.
Nuttall said everyone’s excited to get started.
“We open with a tough one and will see four or five teams from Montana that are two weeks ahead of us and a ton of tough 2A, 3A and 4A Wyoming teams. It’ll be ultra competitive, but at the same time, it’ll be a fun opportunity to see where we’re at and where we need to go.”