Butte Central’s wrestling room is full of sophomores – and a freshman – but the Maroons have some mat experience coming in to the 2015-16 season.
The Maroons travel to Havre for a weekend of wrestling beginning Friday afternoon.
Head coach Robin Moodry lost a few good wrestlers to graduation, and a couple more to other sports, but still has a total of seven athletes out. Sophomore Roy Russell (103) placed second at last spring’s Southwestern A Divisional meet, while fellow sophs Patrick Harrington (113) and Ryan Moodry (182) took third at the same meet.
In addition to those three, the Maroons get back sophomores Austin Nieves (138) and Colter Stillwagon (170), along with newcomers Shane Callahan (285), a sophomore, and freshman Clay Fisher (132).
“We’ve got a pretty good group of kids,” said Butte Central head coach Robin Moodry. “They’ve all got at least a year of experience except for Shane, and he’s catching on quick.”
Moodry expects to have just two or three wrestlers ready for the opening competition in Havre, as the rest won’t have the required 10 practices in by then. The first competition for the remainder of the team will come next Thursday when Butte Central will host a mixer at the Maroon Activities Center. They’ll follow with a trip to the Whitehall Duals Friday and Saturday.
Ryan Moodry will technically be ready for action this weekend, though he could sit out for a while to recuperate from some nagging injuries suffered along the line through football and last baseball season.
“He’ll weigh in, and we’ll see if he can get any matches in,” said Robin Moodry, Ryan’s father. “Hopefully we’ll have all seven going by Whitehall.”
Moodry said he and his assistants have been focusing on technique and aren’t as concerned with conditioning just yet.
“Their lungs aren’t real strong now, but after the first match they’ll know they have to start stepping it up,” Moodry said. “You learn real quick just how long six minutes is.”
Overall, Moodry said he’s happy with where his team is at this point.
“Clay looks good. He’ll be a good one,” Moodry said. “The rest have a year under their belts and they retained a lot from last season. We’re just going to work hard and hopefully we’ll peak right around divisionals and state.”