Maroon matmen hone skills at MAC mixer

By Pat Ryan

Two mats at the Maroon Activities Center were the center of attention in Mining City wrestling action Thursday, as Butte Central hosted four teams in a mixer. Wrestlers from Havre, Corvallis, Hamilton and Stevensville joined the Maroons in the annual meet.

Butte Central had just four wrestlers in the action, and the group turned in a total of eight matches. Head coach Robin Moodry was pleased with his team’s performance, as the abbreviated squad pulled off four wins.

Roy Russell looked solid in his 113-pound opener against Carter Brown of Corvallis, shooting in for a takedown and three back points. Up 5-0, Russell started the second period on the bottom position but got caught looking for a reversal. The Maroon fought off his back but too much time was left and Russell suffered the second-period pin.

Butte Central's Roy Russell looks to run an arm bar in his match with Carter Brown of Corvallis Thursday night at the MAC.
Butte Central’s Roy Russell looks to run an arm bar in his match with Carter Brown of Corvallis Thursday night at the MAC. (Pat Ryan photo)

Russell was bumped up a weight to 120 where he gave some pounds and about a half a foot to Cole Anson of Hamilton. Russell appeared quicker, but each shot was countered and Anson hung on for a 5-1 victory.

“Roy’s usually 103, so he was matched with some bigger kids,” Moodry noted. “But it makes him work on his technique and speed, and not just rely on strength. I think it makes him a better wrestler.”

Maroon sophomore Clay Fisher dropped to 126 pounds for Thursday’s action, and looked right at home in his lighter class with a pair of decisive wins. Fisher opened against Allen Allsop of Corvallis and wasted little time in running an arm bar into a 48-second pin.

Clay Fisher of Butte Central takes down Allen Allsop of Corvallis Thursday at the MAC.
Clay Fisher of Butte Central takes down Allen Allsop of Corvallis Thursday at the MAC. (Pat Ryan photo)

His second match took a bit longer, but the result was another win. Fisher took Hamilton’s Bridger Williams down early in their match, but could only manage those two points in the first period. A nice counter gave Fisher another takedown in the second, though Bridger worked his way back to neutral to cut Fisher’s lead to 4-1. The Maroon scored an escape and a takedown to claim a 7-3 win.

“I think 126 is where Clay belongs,” Moodry said. “Once he gets his weight where he needs it, he’ll have a little more energy and some more success.”

Brand-new Butte Central 132-pounder Gage Young only got one match for the night, but likely had plenty left in the gas tank for another bout or two.

Gage Young looks for a half Nelson Thursday in his match with Cameron Nelson of Havre.
Gage Young looks for a half Nelson Thursday in his match with Cameron Nelson of Havre. (Pat Ryan photo)

Young came out strong against Havre’s Cameron Nelson and hustled into a quick takedown. Young tried a couple of different options before settling with a half Nelson that he used to roll the Blue Pony over for the pin just shy of a minute into the match.

“We’re not even sure how to coach him yet,” said Butte Central assistant coach Andrew Holmes.

Young moved from Deer Lodge just this week and has been with the Maroons for a matter of days. Moodry said he’ll probably wrestle a JV schedule until eligibility issues have been handled.

Colter Stillwagon saw by far the most action for the home team, wrestling three matches at 170 pounds. He finished with a win and a pair of losses, but showed plenty in the way of improvement.

Stillwagon dropped his first match against Havre’s Taylor Gopher in the first overtime period, giving up a takedown with just seconds left.

“We have to work on not giving that kind of thing up,” Moodry said. “But that kid beat Colter twice last weekend. We’re getting better.”

Stillwagon suffered a pin to Kyle McCollaum of Darby (a co-op with Corvallis) in the third period, and was Trailing Hamilton’s Aaron Swafford late in the second period of the final match of the evening. A head-and-arm throw later, however, saw Stillwagon with a 7-4 edge going into the third. Yet another head-and-arm left Stillwagon on top, where he hung on for the pin.

“That might be the spark he needs,” Moodry said. “But any time you win it’s going to help your confidence.”

Maroons Ryan Moodry and Theron Nelson sat out for health reasons, while Austin Nieves still hasn’t been to the requisite number of practices.

The Maroons are back in action this weekend at the Whitehall Duals.

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