Butte Central hosted its annual wrestling mixer Thursday at the Maroon Activities Center, where nearly every wrestler from the five teams in attendance got at least two matches.
In addition to Butte Central, teams competing included Anaconda, Havre, Corvallis and Hamilton. In all, 58 matches were wrestled.
The Maroons only had four athletes available for the competition – all sophomores – and it was the first matches of the season for three of them.
At 103 pounds, Central’s Roy Russell split his matches, dropping a 7-0 decision to Carter Brown of Corvallis before rallying for a first period pin of Anaconda’s Kyle Adams. Russell came out fast against Brown, but the Blue Devil was able to counter Russell’s counter moves and earn two takedowns. The other points came from a near fall in the first period when Brown ran an arm bar. It was the same bar used the next two periods, but Russell held fast from giving up back points.
Against Adams, Russell gave up the initial takedown to his aggressive opponent, but later used that steam against Adams to turn a reversal and earn the 1:41 pin with a head and arm.
At 113 pounds, Maroon Patrick Harrington also earned a split, falling in a quick pin to Anaconda standout Shawn Scholler, then coming back for a 21-5 technical fall victory over Thomas Blaz, also of Anaconda.
Harrington gave up the experience edge to Scholler, but wouldn’t be denied against Blaz. Harrington scored on a trio of successful doubles, and Blaz got three of his five points on free escape points. Late in the second period Harrington countered a Blaz double-leg shot, secured a cradle and held on until the buzzer, where his point advantage ended the match.
At 132 pounds, Butte Central’s Austin Nieves got his first two matches in, and though he lost both, he did show good signs. Nieves wound up in a farside cradle early on against Hamilton’s Steven Banks, but fought out of the hold, only to succumb to the move a minute later. Nieves suffered a similar fate against Anaconda’s Dylan Skokolich, losing by fall in the first period.
After getting his first matches of the season under his belt last weekend in Havre, Butte Central 170-pounder Colter Stillwagon won his first match of the night with a pin of Havre’s Austin Ratliff. The Blue Pony won the back-and-forth battle for the opening takedown, but Stillwagon saw an opening and quickly exploited it, scoring a reversal and then a pin with a solid head-and-arm throw.
Stillwagon didn’t fare as well in his nightcap match, falling 7-0 to Havre’s Walter White. The Havre wrestler was solid on his feet and a takedown in each of the three periods sealed the match’s results.
“The kids are improving, and I think they’re having fun,” Butte Central head coach Robin Moodry said following the action. “For three of them, it was their first time out, and a few of the matches went six minutes. That’s where you see improvement.”
Moodry said he was pleased with his team’s coach-ability.
“I was happy with how Patrick wrestled on his feet tonight, and I thought Roy improved too,” Moodry said. “Colter and Austin will keep improving, and it’s a long season. There are a lot of matches coming up.”
The first ones will come at the Whitehall Duals this weekend, where the Maroons may or may not get the services of freshman Clay Fisher and sophomore Ryan Moodry, who are currently sidelined for physical reasons. Both weighed in, however, and depending on the circumstances, one or both could see action this weekend.
“We hope we can use them,” Moodry said. “In a dual tournament it’s good to have as many bodies as you can, especially with a small team like ours.”