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Banner County fields young team
December 11, 2014 Jerry Purvis   

Read more by Jerry Purvis

Courtesy Photo - The Banner County Wildcat wrestling team includes, from left: Garrett Grubbs, Brandon Blickensderfer and Sam Hoover.

Banner County head wrestling Coach Bill Gifford described his three-man team as “an unknown product.” Garrett Grubbs is the only returning wrestler from last year. Sam Hoover and Brandon Blickensderfer are new to the team.

“Because of our small size, we won’t be competing for any team awards,” Gifford said. “I’m looking at the team as individuals and I think we have the potential to do some good things.”

He added the new wrestlers will be undergoing a learning experience for the first half of the schedule, but said he’s optimistic after watching practices.

“The guys have been working really hard at doing things the right way,” Gifford said. “They pay attention to their technique. We’re a long way from where we need to be, but if they can continue working like that, we’ll have some success this season.”

Gifford said he won’t say whether any of the team will make it to the state tournament, but he said the potential is there for a run at state.

“Our own tournament is a good one for us,” Gifford said. “We have about 15 teams coming here for that one so we get to see some good competition from other schools. And it’s early in the year when the kids need some mat time.”

He said he also likes the Sutherland Tournament because the Wildcats get to see new competition from the local area schools. And at the Lingle Tournament, they’ll get to wrestle against some of the Wyoming schools.

“Right now, my goal for the season is to see the team improve every week,” he said. “I want to see a positive gain from the week before and consistency from week to week.”

He added he also has a goal to get them to the state tournament, but the first two goals will need to be accomplished first.
“The year will be a challenge, but I’m looking forward to it,” he said.

Banner County Wrestling Schedule

Friday, Dec. 5 at Crawford Tournament – 2 p.m.
Saturday, Dec. 13 Home Tournament – 9:30 a.m.
Saturday, Dec. 20 at Sutherland Tournament – 9 a.m.
Thursday, Jan. 8 Western Trails Conference Dual Tournament – TBA
Saturday, Jan. 10 Garden County Tournament at Oshkosh – 9 a.m.
Friday-Saturday, Jan. 23-24 at Lingle-Ft. Laramie Tournament – 10 a.m./1 p.m.
Saturday, Jan. 31 at Mitchell Tournament – 8:30 a.m.
Saturday, Feb. 7 Southeast Dual Tournament at Yoder, Wyo. – 9 a.m.
Friday-Saturday, Feb. 13-14 District Tournament – TBA
Thursday-Saturday, Feb. 19-12 State Tournament at Omaha – TBA

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