Individual wins highlight Moorcroft trip

Nathan Oster

In a normal year, Greybull-Riverside would have seen just about every 2A wrestling team in the state by now.  But with COVID-19 wiping usual in-season tournaments off the schedule, that hasn’t been the case in 2020-21.

Teams have had to hunt for matchups, and with each weekend, Coach Tom Harrington and his team are getting opposed to new squads.  Last weekend gave G-R its first look of the season at the reigning state champion Moorcroft Wolves.  On Friday, they’ll see Saratoga.  But time is running out.  The state tournament is now less than a month away.

“We’re having a season — that’s the best part,” said Harrington. “But it’s a little frustrating too — other teams are getting to mix it up a little better.  We’d like to see Kemmerer, Cokeville, Southeast and Lusk — they’re teams we’d normally see at Don Runner or Shoshoni.  Now we don’t see them and we won’t know what they’ve got until we get to the state tournament.

“Everybody’s in the same boat, but us and Lovell and Rocky Mountain, we’re a little more isolated up here. It’s a long way to go to see anyone — and the kids aren’t getting the matches they need either.  They’re not getting in that competitive condition.  They’ll go to state and be asked to wrestle four or five matches in a day when they haven’t done it all season.  It’s a concern everyone has — not just us.”

G-R did get in some quality action last weekend, starting Thursday at a dual in Thermopolis and continuing Friday and Saturday in Moorcroft, where they dualed 3A Newcastle, 2A Moorcroft-Hulett and the Campbell County JV.

The Bobcats entered the week ranked fourth in 2A, boasting a lineup with three top-ranked wrestlers in 138-pounder Wyatt McDermott, 152-pounder Roedy Farrell and 220-pounder Logan Cole.  All three of them won by pins — McDermott over Ty Stroshein in 1:26, Farrell over Jake Schlattmann in 2:58 and Cole over Griffin Zapata at 220.

Thermopolis rode those wins and some forfeits to a 42-24 dual win.

G-R’s victories came via pins from Oscar Martinez at 132 and Jeremy Holloway at 160 and forfeit wins by 182-pounder Bryan Galvez and 195-pounder Tate Clutter.  Galvez won an exhibition match, beating teammate Aiden Farrow by fall.

3A Newcastle proved to be an even greater test for G-R, which lost 42-9.  Oscar Martinez won an 8-2 decision over his 132-pound opponent. It was the only contested matchup that G-R won as its other points came on a forfeit win by Zapata at 220.

A dual against a combined team from Hulett and Moorcroft didn’t go any better as G-R came up on the short end, 57-15.  Schlattmann and Stroschein picked up pins for 12 of G-R’s 15 team points but the other three might markers were more noteworthy.

The match fans wanted to see was at 195. It was No. 1 versus No. 2 — Moorcroft’s Dekken Mayer against G-R’s Clutter — and it ended with Clutter prevailing, 2-1 in overtime.  The two were tied 1-1 after three periods.  Neither scored in the first session of “sudden victory” overtime. That led to two, 30-second rounds, where Clutter scored the only point on an escape.

“Tate came close to taking him down two to three times and was never in danger of being taken down,” said Harrington. “The key to the match was Tate blocked pretty well.”

The win gave Clutter a midseason boost — and a likely turn as the state’s top 195-pounder — but “we’ll see him again in a couple weeks and then again at state.”  Harrington said Lovell’s Zane Collins, the No. 3-ranked kid at the weight, is also improving, although Clutter is unbeaten against him to this point. 

G-R lost its dual to the Campbell County JV, 51-24, but on the plus side, all of its points came on pins.  Schlattmann, Galvez, Clutter and Zapata recorded them.  So, too, did Farrow, albeit in an exhibition which wasn’t reflected in the team scoring.

G-R was nowhere close to fielding a full lineup, missing its 103 and 112 pounders in Madi Long and Baylee Drewry, as well as 220-pounder Chase Oster.  

“We forfeited seven weights,” said Harrington.

He praised the kids who did make the trip, saying they wrestled tough.

“Everybody won at least one match — except for Jeremy, but in his case, he’s a freshman wrestling mostly juniors and seniors in the middle weights.  The good thing for him is that he’s now down to 160, where we think he’ll have a little more success.

“Overall, we still have to get better on the bottom and do a better job of attacking on our feet.”

G-R hosts a dual with Lovell on Thursday starting at 6 p.m. and travels to Saratoga for a dual on Friday.  Saturday will be an off day for the team as it prepares for its annual home meet/duals the following weekend.