Mitchell wins triangular, but Bayard wrestlers leave impact
     2012-12-13      By Terry Gaston   
Bayard senior Allen Denton (top) breaks down Mitchell's Marquis Droddy on his way to scoring a first-period pin at 152 pounds Thursday night in the teams' dual that completed the Mitchell Triangular. 
MITCHELL — While the high school wrestling season is not even two weeks old, many area grapplers are either making early-season impacts as year-older veterans while others are trying to find their niche in their team’s lineup.

While Mitchell defeated both Bridgeport 44-27 and Bayard 39-34 in the Tigers’ home triangular last Thursday, one of Mitchell’s top all-around athletes in senior Spencer Rien found himself on the verge of victory over the less-experience Bayard junior Chris Wurm in the all-Tiger heavyweight dual.

Rien had Wurm under control until the Bayard Tiger slipped Rien for a reverse and suddenly had Rien pinned in 1:17. The win was Wurm’s second by fall for the night — his first, a second-round fall over Bridgeport’s Will Frerichs — and served as a prelude to his heavyweight championship on Saturday at the Banner County Invitational.

“I have some pretty-seasoned wrestlers and I have some really not-seasoned wrestlers, and there’s really no one really in between,,” said Bayard coach Randy McKibbin, who has five returnees who all made the district consolation semifinals but lost in the “heartbreak” round.

“Chris is someone who was at Bayard a few years ago and moved back. He’s such a nice kid and wanted to help (Rein) up after the match when other kids might not. At the 220 or 285 weight class, it’s either pin or get pinned. It’s very rare that those matches go all three periods. No pun intended, but we ended up getting the right roll at the right time. It very well could have gone the either way.”

The triangular was loaded with forfeits, with Bridgeport leaving six weights open. Thus the number of limited wrestlers of winning two matches was few but proved exciting nevertheless.

In addition to Wurm, Bayard had a double on-mat victor in 160-pound junior Trenton Applegate, who followed his first-round pin of Bridgeport’s Troy Isom with an action-packed, first-round fall over Mitchell’s Andrew Thomas.

“Trenton’s kind of a grinder,” McKibbin said of Applegate, Bayard’s other champion in Banner County on Saturday. “Unfortunately for Trenton, we have some more seasoned wrestlers and have three guys for two spots and he’s the guy who has to move (classes) because he can’t beat the other ones, but competition is good because things happen.

“That’s why it’s called a team, and we’re able to have people step in and pick up the slack. Trenton is one of our more seasoned wrestlers, even though he’s a junior.”

Mitchell senior 126-pounder Josh Zulkoski won a major decision against Bridgeport’s Todd Widener 13-3 and scored a second-round pin over Bayard’s Lucas Jones to finish as the Tigers’ only on-mat double winner.

“As a senior leader, he is doing what he needs to do,” Mitchell coach Randy Donelson said of Zulkoski, a returning state qualifier. “We do need to get better on bottom and he knows that. He’s working hard and I think as a leader, eventually he will get him where he needs to be.”

Donelson pointed to senior Brendan Swanson’s 20-5 technical fall win over Bayard junior Tristan Hunter as a highlight for the Tigers.

“Swannie wrestled well on his feet,” Donelson said. “Right now we’re just a little out of shape as a team. We’re getting there, It’s still early and we’re just starting to figure out who is going where, and when we do that we will get better and where we need to be.”

On his team’s opposition for the night, Donelson said: “Both Bridgeport and Bayard showed that they are pretty tough. They have some good middle-weights We’re still young and we’re getting there, so to pull out the wins were a good thing for us.”

The same four kids missed out in the heartbreak round of districts the past two years, Brandon Bowers, Lane Kizzire, Trenton, Allen, plus Austin and Tanner also lost out in the 2012 consolation semifinals.

Bridgeport and Bayard tied on the scoreboard at 36-all in their dual, but the Bulldogs won the dual by winning more matches, 7-6, when both teams left the 106 class open.

It’s a problem at 106 that McKibbin hopes his team will help remedy by season’s end as it prepares for postseason competition at the Class D level this winter.

“We are in Class D, which will eventually help us,“ McKibbin said. “When it’s all said and done, we could have a full team. If they are ready to follow through in their weight-loss plans, we could have all 14 weight classes full. That should help us down the line too.”

Banner County Invitational
Bayard had champions in Wurm and Applegate on the Tigers’ way to finishing third in the team race Saturday in the Banner County meet in Harrisburg.

The Tigers also had runner-up finishes from Hunter at 170 pounds and junior Tanner Wiley at 195. Senior Allen Denton took third at 152, as did Alex Wamboldt at 182.Bayard finished with 104.5 points, placing behind Holyoke, Colo., with 139 points and Julesburg-Sedgwick County with 128.5. Morrill came in fifth with 77 points.

C.J. Sidrow was Morrill’s top per former as the 106-pound champion. Matthew Unrein was second at 132 for the Lions, as was Elvariste Gomez at 152 and Matthew Hessler in the 285 heavyweight class.

Other area placers were Banner County’s David Gifford in third at 220 pounds and Marc Cinocco of Minatare in fourth at 126.

Gering at Cheyenne East
The understaffed Gering wrestlers dropped a 62-16 dual last Thursday at Cheyenne East.

For the Bulldogs, Joseph Ybarra scored an 11-2 major decision at 120 pounds while Jake Rexus scored a second-round pin at 160, and Elijah Timblin pinned his 170-pound Thunderbird opponent in 1:11.

Scottsbluff at Alliance
Alliance and Scottsbluff are expected again to be among the contenders come District B-4 time, and the host Bulldogs edged the Bearcats 40-38 in dual action last Thursday.

Scottsbluff handed the Bulldogs 18 points on forfeits, so the Bearcats out-performed Alliance on the mat otherwise. But Scottsbluff also was without two-time state champion Colton Adams, who competed at the Walsh Ironman National Tournament in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio over the weekend.

Five Bearcats scored wins by pin fall: Andrew Aratani at 285 pounds, Cruz Delacruz at 106, Keegan Hessler at 113, Sabian Harsh at 138 and Tristan Donelson at 145.

The Bearcats joined Gering and Alliance at the Charlie Lake Varsity Tournament at Cheyenne East on Saturday.

Cheyenne East Inv.
After a long day of nearly 12 hours of wrestling in a 16-team field, Scottsbluff had two champions in Delacruz and Hessler that paced the Bearcats to a fourth-place finish. Harsh also wrestled in the 145 final but finished second, while Aratani came in third at heavyweight.

Adams made well on his trip to Ohio and the elite tournament at Walsh Jesuit High School by placing third at 126 pounds after amassing a 6-1 record.

Gering earned three top-four finishes in placing 11th in the team rankings. Ybarra took third at 120 pounds, defeating teammate Marcelino Ramos in the consolation match on an 8-1 decision. Timblin was a second-place finisher at 170.

Both Gering and Scottsbluff will participate in the Sidney Invitational on Saturday, beginning at 9 a.m. The Bulldogs will then travel to Kimball on Tuesday for dual action starting at 5:30, while the Bearcats are off until they play host to the annual Scottsbluff Invitational on Jan. 5.

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