WORLAND – The Wheatland High School wrestling team was on the road again after their home dual against Moorcroft was cancelled due to poor weather on Thursday.
The Bulldogs went to the 24 team dual tournament in Worland, the “Battle in the Bighorns”. The event featured three Billings, Mont. high schools, and 21 Wyoming high schools. Wheatland was forced to forfeit 3-5 matches in each dual due to injuries and illness.
Several junior varsity wrestlers took up the challenge and competed against top wrestlers. Junior Trae Bitterman won his first varsity match of the year despite competing 15 pounds above his regular weight glass. Freshman Salvador Jimenez also won his first varsity match competing at 170 pounds.
At 145 pounds, Senior Lance Lucas had the match of the weekend, defeating defending state champion Kye Catlin of Powell. Lucas dominated the match, up 3-0 and with two near takedowns at the edge of the mat, Lucas held off Catlin as the defending state champion from Powell attempted desperation throws down 3-0. Lucas gave up two stalling points in the last 20 seconds of the match and won 3-2. Lance was chosen as one of the “Best of the Best” at his weight class for the tournament. Senior Jace Loyd jumped up 25 pounds and went 3-1 for the weekend at 220 pounds. At 285, Lane Peasley and Michael Schmidl both wrestled varsity spots. Both went 6-2, losing only to top ranked wrestlers.
On Friday, the Bulldogsdefeated Thermopolis, Rock Springs and Pinedale. Wheatland won several matches against No. 3 ranked Sheridan but lost 45-24. Wheatland lost 64-12 to ultimate tournament champion Powell.
On Saturday, Wheatland had several injuries and forfeited five weight classes or 30 points per match. Wheatland lost to Rawlins 54-30 and Buffalo 36-30 and defeated Glenrock in dual action to finish in 14thplace overall.
The Bulldogs take a holiday break but return to the mat Thursday, January 9 in Wheatland as they take on 4A Laramie in an evening dual.For the complete article see the 01-01-2014 issue.
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