Bulldog wrestlers melt Glacier on Senior Day

The old Butte High gym hosted a packed house as the Bulldog wrestlers swept the Glacier Wolfpack in both boys’ and girls’ wrestling. After Flathead called in sick, it was just a mono-e-mono dual for Butte High and Glacier High. Since this was the last home event for the Bulldogs, Senior Day was held to recognize the seniors for their dedication and contribution to the sport of wrestling.

“It’s a great opportunity for the Seniors to be represented and to show how much they mean to our team.” Said Butte High coach Cory Johnston.

The girls’ teams kicked off the event, which started at 100 lbs. Butte High sophomore Peyton Liva utilized the cradle to cap off a 12-0 victory over Katelyn Sphuler. Coming off her big win on Tuesday, 107-lb senior Bella Real suffered a loss at the hands of the returning 2-time state runner-up Brooke Yeadon. 114-lb senior Aydin Gonzales also encountered a roadblock as she faced off against returning state champion Kaura Coles. Coles previously wrestled at 120 pounds but moved down to 114 pounds.

Eight-grade 120-lb Keeleigh Doherty stepped up to the varsity challenge but succumbed to Temree Payne-Taylor, who has the potential to finish on the podium at this year’s state event. 126-lb sophomore Sophie Grunhuvd continues her streak of dominance as she defeated Kirilynn Johnson by pinfall in the first period after a flawless ankle pick to take Kirilynn down. Butte High would have six open victories by Neveah Grunhuvd, Kierra Case, Mattie Stepan, Jailyn Hocking, Rylee Radcliffe, and McKenna LeCoure. With 145 pounds being a double forfeit, the total score was 46-17 in favor of Butte High.

Next up were the boys’ teams. Open victories from 113-lb Bradey Doyle and 285-lb senior Kade Schleeman earned the Bulldogs an automatic 12 points. 103-lb sophomore and 6th-ranked Keegan Hunt faced up against Aiden Sweat, who ranked 4th in the Class AA coaches poll. Quick takedowns and stout defense earned Hunt a 6-3 victory over Sweat. 120-lb sophomore Colter Espelin lost to a tough 5th-ranked Garrett Bosch by way of pinfall in the second period. 

126-lb senior stalwart Grady Winston extended the team score deficit with a pin over Payton Steward. Winston came back after being taken down early in the first period. 132-lb sophomore “Night” Ryder McEwen cruised to an easy first-period pinfall over Emery Bergstedt. 138-lb freshman Bode Hazlett continues his hot streak with a second-period pin over Welcome Chapman. 

145-lb senior Trey Hansen took returning state placer and 1st-ranked Kaleb Shine the distance but could not find the light at the end in a 15-6 loss. 152-lb senior Derek Averyt faced off against 6th-ranked Niko Coles. Coles’ quickness made it hard for Averyt to keep up, and he lost in the first period by pinfall.

Coach Johnston made sure to give Averyt his starting spot on Senior Day. This move meant Will Stepan, Maverick McEwen, Adien Cuchine, and Bridger Brancamp all moved up a weight for the dual.

Coach Johnston stated, “Derek has always been a go-getter, and I wanted to make sure the seniors like him got a chance to represent his school.”

160-lb Will Stepan (ranked 4th at 152) took his time to adjust to Shannon Hughes but found success in the second period. A quick reversal allowed Stepan to utilize his offense and pick up a pinfall. 170-lb senior Maverick McEwen (ranked 3rd at 160) goose-stepped his way to a pinfall victory over third-ranked Mark Ahner. 

182-lb Adien Cuchine (ranked 5th at 170) had two smooth double-leg takedowns, with the second one putting Tristan Hall straight to his back for the pin. 205-lb Bridger Brancamp was the final matchup of the event. Brancamp found himself in hot water against a larger Noah Horn. Brancamp was able to fight Horn away in the first period but ended up getting pinned in the second period.

When it was all said and done, Butte High’s 51-22 win put an exclamation point on the regular season. 

“Our intensity throughout the week has been a big improvement for the boys, and it has shown, ” Said Coach Johnston. “This week will be the same as any other week. We just have to remain aggressive during these final weeks.”

Butte High’s JV squad finished 8-2 against Glacier’s JV squad. The JV squad consisted of:

Bridger Garrison, Austen Belisario, Joey Ward, Finn Wortham (2x), Cameron Fleege, Jake Bailey, Reece Cunneen, Maddox Kroon, and Kasen O’ Keefe,

The western divisional qualifying matches for boys and girls will take place in Helena on February 2nd and 3rd. To follow the divisional qualifying rounds, go to trackwrestling.com.

Thank you to the following senior wrestlers and team members for an outstanding season: Kierra Case, Aydin Gonzales, Jailyn Hocking, Bella Real, Kaicee Liva, Katie Bostwick, Cailin Maesar, Derek Averyt, Adien Cuchine, Trey Hansen, Maddox Kroon, Maverick McEwen, David (Payton) Schiller, Kade Schleeman, and Grady Winston.

Results

Girls

100- Peyton Liva (Butte) def. Katelyn Sphuler (Glacier), 12-0; 107- Brooke Yeadon (Glacier) pinned Bella Real (Butte), :29; 114- Kaura Coles (Glacier) teched Aydin Gonzales (Butte), 16-0; 120- Temree Payne-Taylor (Glacier) pinned Keeleigh Doherty (Butte), 1:13; 126- Sophie Grunhuvd (Butte) pinned Kirilynn Johnson (Glacier), :43

Boys

103- Keegan Hunt (Butte) def. Aiden Sweat (Glacier), 6-3; 113- Bradey Doyle (Butte) win by forfeit; 120- Garrett Bosch (Glacier) pinned Colter Espelin (Butte), 3:28; 126- Grady Winston (Butte) pinned Payton Steward (Glacier), 2:30; 132- Ryder McEwen (Butte) pinned Emery Bergstedt (Glacier), 1:15; 138- Bode Hazlett (Butte) pinned Welcome Chapman (Glacier); 2:46; 145- Kaleb Shine (Glacier) def. Trey Hansen (Butte); 15-6; 152- Nico Coles (Glacier) def. Derek Averyt (Butte), :32; 160- Will Stepan (Butte) pinned Shannon Hughes (Glacier), 2:40; 170- Maverick McEwen (Butte) pinned Mark Ahner (Glacier), 1:46; 182- Adien Cuchine (Butte) pinned Tristan Hall (Glacier), 2:47; 205- Noah Horn (Glacier) pinned Bridger Brancamp (Butte), 3:08; 285- Kade Schleeman (Butte) win by forfeit

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