By Pat Ryan
BILLINGS – The Maroons brought four wrestlers to State, and half of them made it to the podium Saturday night at MetraPark Arena in Billings.
Butte Central sophomore Clay Fisher wound up a very successful season with a shot at the 126-pound Class A title. And though he lost to Havre standout Martin Wilkie, Fisher still brings home second-place hardware for the effort.
“I wish I could have wrestled the finals better, but it was a good year,” Fisher said, adding that he’s ready to get back to work to continue improving.
Junior 103-pounder Roy Russell went 3-3 on the weekend to claim sixth place.
“It was a good weekend,” noted Butte Central head coach Robin Moodry. “I’m proud of all four of the kids.”
Fisher had been riding a winning streak that he extended with an 8-4 semifinal win over Hamilton’s Bridger Williams Saturday morning. That set up a title match with Wilkie, who finished his second state title season with a 43-1 record.
The match started poorly for Fisher, who found himself in a cradle in the first minute. Though he fought out of the pickle, Wilkie was there with a tilt and led 5-1 after the first period. Wilkie opened the second period with a reversal and another tilt before stacking Fisher for a pin and the end of the season.
“Clay had a great divisionals and State,” Moodry said. “I know he would have liked to wrestle better in that last match, but he’s a sophomore and he still has two years. There’s 14 other kids on his weight card who would want to be in his position.”
The Maroons started the day with three of their four wrestlers still in contention, though Colter Stillwagon suffered a consolation quarterfinal defeat to Nelson Crisafulli of Glendive and finished just out of contention for a place on the podium.
Russell opened Saturday with an 8-6 win over Caleb Olsen of Stevensville, but then fell to top-ranked Walker Dyer of Frenchtown before a first-period pin loss to Braxton Scheeler of Miles City in the fifth-place match.
“Roy’s only wrestled three years,” Moodry said. “He competed and was right in there for the placing round. Stillwagon was competitive too, and they’re all going to be back next year, and we’re looking for a few freshmen coming in next season.”
With any luck the Maroons’ wrestling room might even start getting crowded.
“I hope so,” chuckled Moodry.