Bulldog wrestlers battle through sickness, tough at Greybull tournament

Avery Layne

The Lovell High School wrestlers headed down the final stretch of the regular season last week with matches or a meet on three consecutive days, hosting Powell Thursday and Tongue River Friday for senior night, then traveling to the Greybull Memorial tournament on Saturday.
Head wrestling coach Ty Hecker noted the team’s resilience this week despite having seven wrestlers out due to what Hecker said is the worst wave of sickness he’s seen in his years of wrestling.
“Having wrestlers out sick made it tough to fill in positions for our home duals,” Hecker said, “but we made do with what we had, with kids stepping up where they needed to.”
Thursday, the team welcomed the Powell Panthers onto their home mat for a dual. Though not coming out of the dual on top with a final score of 42-23, the team kept their heads up and welcomed the Tongue River Eagles the following day. Friday night was also the team’s senior night, honoring senior wrestlers Carson Asay, James Love, Rosendo Garcia, JD Rodriguez and Michael Harris, along with manager Croix Tryon.
By the end of the night, the team had pushed the score to 48-30, defeating the Eagles.
Bouncing back from this victory, the team took their win into their third day of wrestling at the Greybull Memorial tournament. After a day of wrestling on Saturday, the team managed to secure third overall. Coach Hecker highlighted several wrestlers, commenting on their overall performance this weekend.
Hecker highlighted how Garcia went undefeated this weekend, competing in the 215-pound weight class. Pinning both of his opponents landed him in the finals against Moorcroft’s Oliver Gorsuch, the #2 ranked wrestler in the state at 215 pounds. The score was tied 5-5 by the end of the third period, sending the match into overtime. Turning the tide, Garcia managed to get the takedown that set the score 7-5, declaring him the champion of his bracket.
“By beating Gorsuch, Garcia will be headed into Regionals and State
ranked #2 at 215 pounds,” Hecker said.
Lovell’s other undefeated and top placing wrestler Saturday was Love in the 285-pound weight class. Love faced Elyott Gorsuch of Moorcroft in the finals at Greybull, pinning him in the second period.
“Love is looking good to make a run at a state title in these coming weeks,” Hecker said.
Asay placed second in the 165-pound weight class.
“Asay wrestled the best out of the whole team this weekend,” Hecker said. “He was relentless and put a pace on kids. He is a different wrestler than I’ve seen in years previous.”
Asay went 3-1 Saturday, with his only loss being a major decision in a hard-fought match.
“Asay wrestles with confidence now, and I’m excited to see him come home with hardware by the end of the season,” Hecker said.
Hecker also highlighted Porter Blau for his toughness.
“Blau had to step up into a varsity role for the duals, which is a tough task for a freshman,” Hecker noted, “but he wrestled tough and fought for his team.” Blau placed third in the 132 JV weight class Saturday.
Hecker noted the performance of Owen Hill, stating, “Hill came back from sickness and showed a lot of heart, grit and guts this weekend, wrestling very well. I’m excited for him to get to Regionals and make it to State.”
Lastly, coach Hecker called out Stetson Asay for his performance.
“Asay has been looking better and better,” the coach said. “He shows a lot of heart and grit and managed to pick up some big wins this weekend.”
Other placers at the Greybull tournament were:
Second place: Danika Crumrine, girl’s 135 pounds, 1-1 record.
Third Place: Dino Delacruz, 113 pounds, 2-2 record.
Fourth Place: Tyler Wilkerson, 106 pounds, 1-2 record; Travis Asay, 144 pounds JV, 2-2 record; Kasey Jordan, 175 pounds, 1-3 record.
The Bulldogs will make one more stop this Friday at the Buffalo Duals before preparing to go into Regionals the following week. At the duals, the team is scheduled to wrestle Thermopolis and Wright to finish their regular season.
“Hopefully everyone can get healthy and stay healthy this week with Regionals right around the corner,” Hecker said.