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WHS takes ninth in state wrestling

Posted: Wednesday, Feb 27th, 2013

Photo/Andrew Towne Senior Taylor Bush sizes up his opponent during his championship match at state wrestling in Casper this past weekend. Bush and Lance Lucas were named to the Academic All-State Wrestling team, a big honor based on academic performance, athleticism and personal character.

CASPER- The Wheatland Bulldog wrestling team headed to the Wyoming High School Activities Association’s largest sporting event of the year: the 2A, 3A, 4A state wrestling tournament held Feb. 22 and 23.

Heading into the weekend, the team raced in 3A came down to the wire with Powell just beating Star Valley for the team title. The Wheatland Bulldogs finished in ninth place of 16 teams behind only larger enrollment schools. It was the final weekend for seniors Taylor Bush, Kevin Grimes and Jeddrick Rietz. Grimes pulled off an upset in round one, defeating No. 4-seeded Oscar Diaz from Worland. Grimes lost his next two and was eliminated.

Rietz lost in round one, but came back to win two in a row before falling in a difficult third-round wrestleback match. Rietz finished a great four-year run as a varsity wrestler and will always be remembered for his uncanny ability to bridge out of trouble. Of the 5 wrestlers competed this weekend, Preston Gunter, Kirby Cagle, Jace Loyd, Rietz and Lane Peasley all went 2-2 and nearly made the medal rounds, finishing in the top 8.

Junior Lance Lucas completed a stellar season with a 31-13 record. Lucas won his first two matches before losing a 6-1 decision to eventual champion Kye Catlin from Powell. Lucas came back with a win over Colton Hopkins of Pinedale. In the third-place out, it was a rematch against Cole Bagley of Star Valley. Lucas had defeated Bagley 3-1 in round 2 on Friday. Lucas held a lead for most of the match before falling 4-3 in overtime. Lucas and Bush were named to the Academic All-State Wrestling Team. The honors warded to one of the state placers in each weight class and is based on wrestling performance, academic performance and personal character.

The championship round of wrestling starting off with a distinct Wheatland flavor as the “Entertainers” of Wheatland High School sang the national anthem in front of several thousand fans. In the final 3A match of the night, Bush finished the season against his arch-nemesis C.J. Allen of Douglas in the heavyweight championship. It was the fourth meeting between these two this year Bush had an unlikely run to the state title match.

In round one, down 2-0 to Salem Ford of Douglas and caught in a cradle, Bush pulled off a defensive pin to win. In round 2, down 4-5 against Erik Denney of Powell, Bush had a last-second reversal to score two and win 6-5. In round 3, Bush battled No. 2-ranked Coton Trisler of Star Valley to a 1-1 tie in overtime before winning on stalling call in the final period.

In the highly anticipated rematch of last week’s 2-1 loss to Allen, Bush battled hard, but was caught by pin. Bush finished the season 23-15 and achieved Academic All-State status. After having several injuries in past years, Bush finished the year in second place to complete the season as the highest-ranked Bulldog wrestler.

For the complete article see the 02-27-2013 issue.

Click here to purchase an electronic version of the 02-27-2013 paper.

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