By: Logan Parvinen
The Maroons of Butte Central played host to Friday night sMACkdown as the Dillon Beavers and the East Helena Vigilantes traveled to the mining city for the last MAC mixer of the year. Five Maroons were able to showcase their skills in the last matchups before divisionals. A lot of things have changed since the first MAC mixer in early December, mainly in terms of skills and overall toughness. One thing that has stayed the same were the smiles on the wrestlers faces.
“It’s great to see that the kids are still having fun with smiles on their faces, especially this late in the season.” Butte Central head coach Robin Moodry stated. “With a group as young as us, the life lessons being taught will help them mature quicker.”
Eighth-graders Jack (103) and Conan Holmes (103), freshmen Marquise Abad (103) and Marcus Shutey (138), and sophomore leader James Holmes (132) round out the five young guns who represent the Maroons wrestling squad.
Conan Holmes went 0-2 on the night, but did not go down without a fight. His first bout was against East Helena freshman Eli Erdahl. Conan was able to last until the third period when Erdahl got the escape, takedown, and pinfall to win the match. Conan then went on to face Dillon freshman Andrew Frecker. Conan showed stout defense after being taken down early in the first period. Frecker, however, was able to use his height advantage to catch Conan in the cradle and win via pinfall.
Jack Holmes went 1-1 while showing grit and promise in his bouts. Jack’s first match was a quick pinfall victory over East Helena eighth grader Gavin Zielle. It was one of those “blink and you miss-it” matches where Jack got a quick takedown and pin within the first fifteen seconds of the match. Jack then faced off against Andrew Frecker of Dillon. In hopes to get revenge on behalf of his brother, the match was a back-and-forth battle that saw Flecker emerge victorious. Jack and Andrew were tied 8-8 after Jack got a takedown with :44 seconds left in the third period. Andrew, however, was able to get a reverse which resulted in a pinfall with just :09 seconds remaining in the final period.
The third 103 pounder of the squad, Marquise Abad, wrestled one match in the mixer and came away with a win. Abad, who didn’t wrestle in the first mixer, got revenge for Conan after pinning Eli Erdahl just 34 seconds into the first period.
Marcus Shutey, who went 0-2 on the evening, is a beacon of enjoyment for the Maroons. In the first round, Shutey faced off against Ezera Gramm of East Helena. Ezera got an early duck-under takedown and got the pinfall with :46 seconds left in the first period. In the second round, Shutey faced off against Charles Meeker of East Helena. Meeker caught Shutey off balance with a head-and-arm which brought Shutey to his back for a quick pinfall. Shutey has shown vast improvement from the first mixer. Shutey was able to move his feet better and position his hips in ways that work to his advantage. In terms that make it easier to understand, he is learning. It’s kids like Marcus that give life to coaches seeing them practice day in and day out and push themselves, regardless of what the outcomes might be.
The leader of the squad, James Holmes, went 3-0 and has shown that he is someone who can pose a threat at divisionals. James’ first match was against eighth-grader Mason Corwin of East Helena. James secured a second period pinfall after overpowering Corwin on top. James then got a tech-fall victory over Alex Burckhard, a junior from East Helena. James ended his impressive evening with a second period pinfall over Hunter Sutton of East Helena. James utilized the single leg takedown effectively and used his strength to sink in the armbar a number of times throughout the evening.
“The kids’ scrapping is getting better and better as the season goes forward.” Said Moody when asked what the biggest improvements of the season have been. “ABC’s and fundamentals have been the building blocks for these kids who are becoming more fluent in the ways of understanding how your body is supposed to adapt with certain moves.”
Overall the Maroons went 5-5 to close out the event.
Next up on the docket are the western divisionals which take place on Saturday February 4th in Polson.
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