Thirteen Butte High wrestlers competed in the NUWAY Southwest Classic Kickoff tournament held Nov. 2-4 at the Rio Hotel in Las Vegas Nevada. The tournament is one of the premier wrestling events in the nation for high school wrestlers. There were nearly 2,200 wrestlers competing in the tournament from 28 different states.
The Bulldogs were led by seniors Gage Weston at 138 pounds and Tommy Challeen at 148 pounds. Weston battled all tournament long and ended up capturing 8th place. He posted a 5-3 record amidst some brutal competition.
Tommy Challeen finished in the top twelve posting an impressive 3-0 victory over defending state champion Joe Malchuski from Skyview. Tommy also faced the number one seed and arguably the best 148 pound high school wrestler in the nation in Nikko Villarreal. He lost the match 10-3 but it was considerably closer than the score indicated.
Other notable performances were turned in by junior Guy St. John, freshmen Kelly Merrick, Brandon Jenkin, and Kaydon Queer.
The Bulldogs showed a great deal of promise and battled extremely hard. Wrestling season doesn’t officially start until Nov. 15, but this early tournament provides a great deal of excitement for the upcoming season.
Butte High wrestlers and their record in Las Vegas Follow:
Kelly Merrick 2-2
Kyler Smith 1-2
Kaydon Queer 1-2
Braxton Henningson 0-2
Taran Bennett 0-2
Kaleb Ferriter 0-2
Brandon Jenkin 1-2
Tyler Bennett 0-2
Willy Shea 0-2
Guy St. John 0-2
Nick Challeen 0-2
Gage Weston 5-3
Tommy Challeen 2-2
— Submitted by Jim Bob Humphrey