Bulldog wrestlers hit the mats

A new era in Butte High wrestling has begun as new head coach Jim Bob Humphrey will bring the Bulldogs into a new season.

The ‘Dogs open the 2012-13 campaign with a new twist – the Purple and White Duals. The event, set to begin at 6 p.m. Monday in the old Butte High gym, will serve as the first round of challenge matches that will determine Butte High’s varsity and junior varsity lineup.

The matches are open to the public, which may attend free of charge, Humphrey said.

The event should prove to be a busy one, as the Bulldogs are looking at 55 wrestlers on the roster. Humphrey said there may be additional athletes out for the team, as members of the state championship football team make their way to the wrestling room following their late-season grid finish.

Humphrey, who is teaching at Butte High, said he’s using his presence in the school to encourage potential wrestlers to join the team.

“I’ll work ‘em over every chance I get,” Humphrey said, adding that he was pleased with the talent level and overall numbers of the freshman class. “The club program here in Butte is outstanding. It really helps us.”

Humphrey, who starred at Montana Western as a linebacker, said he would like to see a three-deep lineup at each of the 15 weight classes this season.

Humphrey is joined in the Butte High wrestling room by a talented and experienced group of assistant coaches. Cole Dallaserra, Eric Dunmire, Nick Haynes and Dan Larson will bring youthful enthusiasm along with a considerable amount of technical expertise to the team.

“I feel pretty good about these guys,” Humphrey said of his staff. “We’ve got a lot of wins and a lot of talent between all of them.”

The challenge matches will set the lineup for the opening duals of the season, a pair of contests with Kalispell Glacier and Kalispell Flathead set for 2 and 4 p.m. at Butte High this Friday. Butte High will get a good look at where it stands right off the bat, as the Glacier Wolfpack enters the season defending its Class AA team title from last February at State.

The annual Butte Duals meet is slated for Dec. 7-8 at Butte High.