Butte High pins Dillon on Senior Night

On a Bulldog wrestling team laden with underclassmen, the Butte High senior class did itself proud on Senior Parents’ night Thursday with a 63-18 dual win over Dillon at Richardson Memorial Gym.

The win, which lifted the Bulldogs’ dual record to 11-9 for the season, saw a number of shifts in the Butte lineup, partly to get more seniors in the lineup and partly to get better matchups.

Dillon has battled injuries of late and sat a few of its wrestlers, giving Butte wins via forfeit at 98, 105 and 119 pounds.

“We only have a week before (the Southwestern A) divisionals,” said Dillon head coach T.J. Nelson. “We have a few guys who needed the time to heal up.”

Still, the Beavers put a strong lineup on the mat. And though the Bulldogs weren’t at full strength, they made a fine showing in the dual.

The first varsity match at 171 pounds may have been the best of the night. Butte’s Nick Challeen scored a takedown against Dillon’s Phil Vial 24 seconds into the first overtime period to secure a 15-13 victory. Challeen, riding the tide of a strong showing at last weekend’s Class AA Duals, was the better wrestler on his feet Thursday.

Challeen opened with a takedown – the result of sheer hustle – though Vial countered with a reversal and three near-fall points with a cradle. The hold wasn’t solid, however, and Challeen earned a reversal to trail by a point after the first period. The Bulldog grappler regained the lead in the second period with an escape and another hustle-generated takedown only to see Vial score a reversal with a head-and-arm, which also counted for three back points.

Challeen resorted to the takedown in the third period, giving away three points via free escapes in order to earn six of his own from three takedowns. The last takedown broke the tie and gave Butte its first team lead of the night.

Lee Cannon moved up a weight class and faced off against Dillon veteran Parker Tezak at 189 pounds. The pair showcased good shots and better defense in the first period, which ended 0-0. Cannon escaped from the bottom eight seconds into the second period, then countered a solid double-leg shot from Tezak, taking the Beaver wrestler to his back, where he was pinned 37 seconds into the second period.

Dillon’s Austin Brettlinger got the Beavers on the board with a pin of Butte’s Johnny Walker at 215 pounds. Walker, as he has all season, gave great effort, but has been hampered by a lack of experience. The Beavers took the team lead at heavyweight, where Donovan Hucke utilized superior size and a sharp head-and-arm throw to pin Butte senior Billy Robinson.

“Hucke’s an outstanding wrestler,” observed Butte High head coach Jim Bob Humphrey. “He’s really good. Billy had his hands full.”

Forfeit wins by Blake Bowen at 98 and Tyler Ossello at 105 gave the Bulldogs a team edge they kept from that point on, though Chance Snellman earned the Beavers their final team points of the night with a pin over Bridger Mooney at 112. Ax Henningsen’s forfeit win at 119 led off the final eight wins for the Bulldogs.

Butte senior 125-pounder Joey Blunt scored a takedown seconds after the opening whistle, then took his time running an arm bar to end the match 41 seconds in.

“Joey’s getting healthy and he’s starting to wrestle really well again,” Humphrey said.

Willy Shea also continued his strong run at 130 pounds, controlling a hard-working Austin Olson in a 62-second pin. Shea was aggressive from the start and nailed a double en route to the pin.

Jarret Rowling, who dropped to 135 pounds, ran his season record to 15-1 with a 31-second pin of Drake Sprinkle. Rowling has been strong in the first period, but said he wasn’t worried about his endurance, should he need more time to finish a match.

“I had to go six minutes twice in challenge matches, and I did once last weekend,” he said. “I feel good.”

“Jarret’s wrestling tough,” Humphrey said. “We’re getting close to where we want to be.”

Freshman Kaleb Ferriter stepped in at 140 pounds and looked solid in his win over Dillon freshman Ricky Erickson. Ferriter scored four takedowns before ending the match 13 seconds prior to the end of the first period.

Fellow Bulldog freshman Guy St. John had a tougher go at 145 pounds, but still earned a 12-3 major decision over Clark Mocilac. St. John countered Mocilac’s shots for takedowns between multiple breaks for a bloody nose suffered by the Dillon wrestler.

Butte senior Andre Vialpando had his hands full with Colton Tunrer, but was in full control for the duration. Vialpando seemed to be in bad position at times, but that didn’t stop him from earning a 15-0 technical fall late in the third period.

“I got a little high a couple times,” the lanky senior said. “But I’m comfortable if I have the wrists rolled. He was tough though, he got out of everything.”

Bulldog senior Bryce Armstrong moved up a weight class to close out the night at 160 against Lane Boka, the second-ranked wrestler at that weight in the Class A ranks. Armstrong, still recovering from illness, scored a reversal and a pair of back points early in the third period in his 5-3 win.

“That was a god tune-up for Bryce before the seeding meet,” Humphrey said, as Armstrong will miss Saturday’s double dual against Billings Senior and West due to a football recruiting trip to MSU-Northern in Havre.

“The guys wrestled well,” Humphrey said. “We’re grinding away, but we have to fine-tune a few things. Our young guys are peaking at the right time and the older guys are turning it on at the right time.”

The Bulldogs wrestle the Billings squads at 1 and 4 p.m. Saturday.


Butte 63, Dillon 18

171 – Nick Challeen, Butte, d. Phil Vial 15-13 (OT). 189 – Lee Cannon, Butte, p. Parker Tezak 2:37. 215 – Austin Bretlinger, Dillon, p. Jonny Walker 1:59. 285 – Donovan Hucke, Dillon, p. Billy Robinson :43. 98 – Blake Bowe, Butte, won by forfeit. 105 – Tyler Ossello, Butte, won by forfeit. 112 – Chance Snellman, Dillon, p. Bridger Mooney :48. 119 – Ax Henningsen, Butte, won by forfeit. 125 – Joey Blunt, Butte, p. Colton Buckmaster :41. 130 – Will Shea, Butte, p. Austin Olsen 1:02. 135 – Jarret Rowling, Butte, p. Drake Sprinkle :31. 140 – Kaleb Ferriter, Butte, p. Ricky Erickson 1:47. 145 – Guy St. John, Butte, md. Clark Mocilac 12-3. 152 – Andre Vialpando, Butte, tf. Colton Turner 15-0. 160 – Bryce Armstrong, Butte, d. Lane Boka 5-3.