Regional up next for G-R

Nathan Oster

With just a single dual and that being a Thursday night affair, Greybull-Riverside wrestlers spent the final weekend of the regular season at home, recuperating from injuries and illnesses and recharging their batteries for their first big test of the season.
The Class 2A West Regional is Saturday in Shoshoni, and while every team looks forward to competing under the bright lights of the Ford Wyoming Center, what happens at regional tournaments will either help or hurt a wrestler’s chances of success.
The top eight wrestlers in each weight class qualify, but only the top four placers get a seed for the state tournament.  Those who don’t typically end up with a much tougher opening-round opponent, and thus, a tougher path to reaching the podium.
In its only action last week, G-R lost a dual to Worland, 34-24, but Coach Rob Nuttall wasn’t dwelling on the score.  Of Worland’s 34 points, 30 came via G-R forfeits.  “I think the only one we lost was at 120 pounds,” said Nuttall.
Instead, the coach zoomed out, favoring the big-picture view of his team’s performance.
“The highlights for us weren’t as much individual as they were whole team,” he said. “It was nice to see us wrestle well.  We had a tough go last week, hitting Moorcroft in that dual Friday night.  They came out on fire. We’d been wrestling well — at Lander, then Ron Thon. But I think we got a little shellshocked. We were battling sickness.  And at our tournament, it didn’t go as we’d hoped.
“So it was really nice to see us wrestle the way we did (against Worland).  We came away encouraged, like we’re still the same team (in spite of the previous weekend’s struggles). It was a nice testament to the boys and girls how they practiced and responded.”
Last year, G-R placed sixth in the 11-team regional field.  Loomis Alexander won the team’s only title, doing so at 120 pounds, while Ty Strohschein and Curtis Strohschein each captured fourth place in their respective weight classes.  G-R qualified 11 wrestlers for state.
“It would be nice to finish in the top five, but we’ll have to wrestle a good tournament to do so,” he said. “I want us to wrestle to our potential.  Don’t underperform — that’s the biggest thing we want to avoid.”