WHITEFISH – Maybe the Polson Pirates should have had a coffee before they wrestled their first round Saturday at the Northwestern A Divisional tournament.
A caffeine jolt of some sort to start things off might have been a good idea as the Pirates hit the mat with a definite thud.
They were flat to start, then spent the rest of the day fixing it.
They got it fixed, though.
The Pirates, down about 30 points early on, fired back through the wrestlebacks to claim their second straight divisional title.
Polson scored 232 points, Columbia Falls had 200.5, Libby was third at 161, Ronan fourth at 145 and Whitefish fifth with 24.
“We had a horrid first round. For whatever reason, they just weren’t quite ready in that round,” said Pirate coach Bob Owen.
“Those close matches that we were hoping to win … we didn’t win a one of them. But every one of those kids came back and got third place, so I was really proud of them for that. That’s what made the difference in the tournament,” he said.
“Having all those kids finish at least third, that makes a huge difference next week. That’s big in the state tournament next week,” he said.
The Pirates had six divisional champions – Carlos Quinones (98), Dylan Moll (105), Craig Feistner (112), Jacob Young (135), Mike Devlin (152), and Josiah Clairmont (285).
Owen added compliments to Polson’s 215-pounder David Plante, who finished second.
“This is his first varsity competition. I was real proud of how he finished,” he said.
Ronan had five divisional champs – Nate Brooks (130), Dustin Goldsby (145), Cole McArthur (171), Toby Cheff (189) and Colby Roberts (215).
Columbia Falls and Libby each had two champions. Columbia Falls’ Sal Baccaro won at 119 and Justin Whitman won at 125. Libby’s Kyle Leir won at 140 and Dylan Berget won at 160.
“I was surprised at how flat they were in that first round. I think they were a little bit embarrassed by the way they wrestled at the beginning, so they kicked it in gear.
“They really bucked up and I was really happy with them for they way they did that,” Owen said.
The whole bad start thing actually began during the coaches seeding meeting on Friday night.
By sheer bad luck, Polson drew one first round match – while Libby had eight matches.
“We knew we’d be behind. That’s just luck. That’s sending the wrong guy to the seeding meeting,” Owen laughed (it was him).
“On the other hand, I told the Libby coach he should have run out of there to a casino. Everything that could have gone right for him did,” the coach said.
“But I’m real proud of the kids. We had a good day … in the end,” he said.
The Columbia Falls MatCats stepped up their performance from the last few years, finishing second.
“It’s a move in the right direction. We definitely lost some key matches. We didn’t put ourselves in a position to compete with Polson when we hit the finals and we knew (the Pirates) were going to be solid in the finals,” said Columbia Falls coach Jesse Schaeffer.
Columbia Falls led going into the consolation round, “but we didn’t have enough of a space cushion.
“Early on, we lost some key matches that would have bumped us into the finals.
“But the group that we have right now, we’re not ready to compete at that level. We’re getting close as a program. We’re moving in the right direction.
“I look at where we were and where we’re coming from and it’s very positive. We’re not quite there to win those big matches yet, but they will get there,” he said.
Team scores – Polson 232, Columbia Falls 200.5, Libby 161, Ronan 145, Whitefish 24.
98 – Carlos Quinones, P, pinned Lucas Polk, P, 4:36;
105 – Dylan Moll, P, pinned Issac King, L, 4:24;
112 – Craig Feistner, P, pinned Chase Rhine, R, 1:08;
119 – Sal Baccaro, CF, pinned Andrew Teigen, R, 1:40;
125 – Justin Whitman, CF, dec. Mitch Haugen, L, 3-1;
130 – Nate Brooks, R, pinned Adam Richardson, CF, 1:01;
135 – Jacob Young, P, dec. Kohl Thompson, CF, 11-6;
140 – Kyle Leir, L, pinned Bryan Shaffer, CF, :55;
145 – Dustin Goldsby, R, pinned Joshua Bowers, L, 3:01;
152 – Mike Devlin, P, pinned Robin Kyes, L, 1:46;
160 – Dylan Berget, L, pinned Mark Hader, CF, 3:00;
171 – Cole McArthur, R, pinned Austin Bailey, L, 2:16;
189 – Toby Cheff, R, pinned Marcus Ross, CF, 2:16;
215 – Colby Roberts, R, dec. David Plant, P, 6-4;
Hwt – Josiah Clairmont, P, pinned Cody Bartos, CF, 1:05.
98 – Harland Jordan, CF, pinned Kaleb Mohn, W, :56;
105 – Taylor Martin, P, pinned Caleb Baumann, CF, 1:49;
112 – Seth McCall, CF, pinned Kyle Tracy, W, 1:27;
119 – Drew Fouty, P, pinned Aaron Seefeldt, L, :43;
125 – Jesse Alfiero, P, pinned Josiah Osborne, CF, 4:08;
130 – Jose Quinone, P, dec. Devin Williams, 5-4;
135 – Alex Nystrom, P, pinned Carston Baertsch, R, 4:34;
140 – Skylar Anderson, P, dec. Aundre Condit, 4-1;
145 – Jason Williams, CF, dec. Jared Young, 1-0;
152 – Colton Lenz, P, pinned Ricky Roach, L, 4:48;
160 – Jacob Burgess, CF, pinned Justin O’Brien, 1:29;
171 – Josh Folsom, CF, pinned Marcelo Theodoro, W, 4:24;
189 – Marlin Burke, P, dec. Logan Neubauer, L, 5-4 (ot);
215 – Jacob Babcock, CF, pinned Jacob Forest;
Hwt – Wolf Zinke, W.�