Friday’s crosstown wrestling dual ended up just how Flathead coach Jeff Thompson wanted, with a sophomore winning to cap a fine night for the host team.
Pins by Tanner Russell, Fin Nadeau, Zaybin Stewart, Brendan Barnes and Cade Troupe set the tone for the Brave Brawlers’ 43-24 win at Flathead High School.
But Chase Youso had the capper.
“Ending with a tight match at 160 pounds there – we knew that was going to be a tough match,” Thompson said. “Chase Youso pulling out a (9-4) win there … just being a sophomore, he’s put in a lot of time in the offseason and has been kind of a mat rat.
“To put the end of the dual in his hands and see his hand raised is pretty darned exciting.”
It was emblematic of the night: Not easy. For a couple seconds Youso, caught in a move, nearly took a fall.
He got bent over his neck, took an injury timeout and then gave up a reversal in the final 1:33 of the match. But Glacier’s Caden Gilmond couldn’t turn him and it ended up 9-3 for Youso.
It was the first time the two had wrestled each other.
Other tough matches were Asher Kemppainen’s 9-4 win over Glacier’s Lance Fretwell at 132 pounds, and Flathead freshman Noah Poe-Hatten taking a 6-2 victory over Royce Conklin at 152.
“Fretwell wrestled a really smart match and stayed in great position,” Thompson said. “Asher got out of his game a little bit – typically he’s more like a cat, using his speed.”
Kemppainen’s win, at 132 pounds, put Flathead ahead in the dual 25-24. Pins by Barnes at 138 and Nadeau at 145 put it out of reach of the Wolfpack.
The dual started at 170 pounds and Flathead got a pin from Russell there, then an 18-5 win from Paxton Boyce at 182 and another fall from Zaybin Stewart at 205.
Then Glacier had its moments: pins from Camryn Vergeront (285), Josh Melton (103), Teegan Vasquez (113) and Cody Frost (120).
“I was happy with Cody Frost coming out and getting a fall there,” Wolfpack coach Ross Danker said. “I thought it was maybe a swing match that we needed to get and he came out and was aggressive. I was very excited for him.”
The efforts of Fretwell came despite an early 8-0 hole.
“That’s a match were if you don’t get turned early and keep it closer we’ve got a shot at it,” Dankers said. “They’re very tough in the middle (weights), and I think at 32 and 52 there were a couple close matches, and who knows after that? Our kids came out with good intensity.”
Glacier is now 6-8 in duals.
It was a sizable crowd that got loud. Thompson suspected his youthful team – five freshmen and three sophomores complement five seniors and a junior – had some jitters. They still moved to 17-3 in duals.
“It was emotional, there were a lot of people here and we don’t get to wrestle at home a lot,” Thompson said. “The nerves, you could tell were there for our young team tonight.
“This is good, this is going to prepare them for the state meet. Because you’re going to be nervous there, too.”
Flathead 43, Glacier 24
103 – Josh Melton, Glacier, pinned Dylan Kratofil, 3:50. 113 – Teegan Vasquez, Glacier, pinned Cade Gardner, 2:53. 120 – Cody Frost, Glacier, pinned Nolan Cate, :55. 126 – Cade Troupe, Flathead, pinned Hunter Magness, 1:13. 132 – Asher Kemppainen, Flathead, dec. Lance Fretwell, 9-4; 138 – Brendan Barnes, Flathead, pinned Ricardo Hewitt, 1:25; 145 – Fin Nadeau, Flathead, pinned Brok Viau, 2:57; 152 – Noah Poe-Hatten, Flathead, dec. Royce Conklin, 6-2; 160 – Chase Youso, Flathead, dec. Caden Gilmond, 9-3; 170 – Tanner Russell, Flathead, pinned Kael Willis, 1:52; 182 – Paxton Boyce, Flathead, maj. dec. Thomas Crofts, 18-5; 205 – Zaybin Stewart, Flathead, pinned Caedon Seymour, 3:06; Hwt – Camryn Vergeront, Glacier, pinned Ayden Prieto, 3:02.