Six Grizzlies qualify for State Wrestling

David Peck

The Rocky Mountain Grizzlies traveled south for the girls and boys regional wrestling tournaments and will send six wrestlers to the state tournament in Casper this weekend.

Qualifying for State at the 2A West Regional Wrestling Tournament in Shoshoni Saturday were Sam Loyning at 126 pounds, Michael Bassett at 132, Triffen Jolley at 144, Hunter Aagard at 190, Wyatt Houchin at 215 and Curtis Wachob at 285.

Meanwhile, two RMHS girls competed in the all-class West Regional Tournament in Riverton Friday and Saturday.

“For the boys, we had a rough start to the day with having to bump some kids, then drawing in tough opponents with everyone battling to make State,” head coach Eddie Whiting said. “We started making our way back, and with a team where you have teammates in (the same weight class) it makes it hard. You’re bound to meet in the blood rounds. Sam Loyning met Dalan Wambeke at 126 pounds, and it was Michael Bassett vs. Jacoby Wachob (at 132 to see who makes it to State. What a heartbreaker to see friends, teammates, partners meet in this round, but it happens.

“I’m proud of these young men. We got some tough draws to start out, but I know each one of these young men can get down to that mat and scrap with the best of them.”

Loyning (2-2) fell to Zavier Clifford by pin, then rebounded to pin JD Rodriguez of Lovell in 2:18 and teammate Wambeke 10-0 before falling to Bennett Sanford of Greybull/Riverside in 2:19.

At 132 Bassett (2-2) pinned Dalton Price of Thermopolis in 4:48, fell to Aidan Ruby of Wind River 15-6, beat teammate Jacoby Wachob 14-7 and lost by pin to Ethan Crow of Thermopolis.

Jacoby (1-2) lost by pin to Mason Christenson of Lovell, beat Ben Mendenhall of Greybull/Riverside 10-6 and fell to Bassett.

Jolley (1-2) fell to Michael Symons of Kemmerer in a 4-3 decision after receiving an opening-round bye. Jolley bounced back to pin Gabe Cornell of Shoshoni in 37 seconds, then fell to Caden Clifford of Big Piney 9-0.

Wambeke went 0-2 at 126, Colten Bitton 0-2 at 138, Aagard 0-2 at 190 plus two byes, Houchin 0-2 at 215 plus a bye and Curtis Wachob 0-2 plus a bye at 285.

Girls in Riverton

Emmilee Wambeke and Rebecca Herren wrestled at the all-class West Regional, Wambeke at 120 pounds and Herren at 130. Both went 0-2 plus a bye.

“Our young Rocky Mountain Grizzlies showed up to the girls tournament on Friday with both first round matches,” Whiting said. “They were tough opponents we lost to in that round. When wrestle-backs came our girls wrestled hard, but we came up short on the win. Were our girls ready? Absolutely they were. We just drew tough opponents and made some rookie mistakes.

“Our girls haven’t wrestled like these girls since they were young, but they sure can compete with some of the best, and I am pleased with their performances and proud of them for working their tails off.”

The Grizz will travel to Casper this week for the Wyoming State Wrestling Tournament at the Ford Wyoming Center. Action begins Thursday at noon and Friday and Saturday at 10:30 a.m.