Fergus wrestlers place third at Cut Bank Invitational

Caleb Birdwell works to take down a Belgrade opponent in a home match earlier this season. Birdwell claimed the individual title at 132 pounds at Cut Bank this past weekend.                                                                       

Photo by Doreen Heintz

Doreen Heintz
Sports Editor

Birdwell earns individual title

eading into Friday and Saturday’s wrestling tournament, Fergus Coach Brendon DeCock told his team he was expecting them to be a top three team.
“I think after the first few rounds they realized it was doable,” said DeCock. “They started paying more attention to team scores and where we were sitting as the tournament went on. Kids started wanting to know how tournament scoring works, and how they can score more points.
“It was pretty cool to watch it all unfold and have kids start looking at the tournament from more of a team aspect,” added DeCock. “They were all wanting to contribute. All of our kids wrestled well.”
The Fergus team did finish third at the tournament with 166 points. First was Havre with 239 points, followed by Eureka with 221 points. The Golden Eagles finished ahead of Class AA C.M. Russell High School of Great Falls. The Rustlers finished in fourth with 148 points. A total of 30 teams participated in the two-day tournament.
Caleb Birdwell was the only individual champion for the Golden Eagles. He took first place at 132 pounds with an 11-5 decision over Wolf Point’s Quinn Whitmus in the championship bout.
“We placed a total of seven kids in the tournament,” DeCock said. “Chase Farrar wrestled a very good tournament.”
Farrar, who finished second at 145 pounds, met Havre’s Parker Filius in the championship bout. Filius, a three-time state champion and heading to Purdue on a wrestling scholarship next year, pinned Farrar in 2:56 in the championship match.
Alex Wickens, Wyatt Blythe and Bradley Denton finished the tournament in third place for the Golden Eagles. Wickens defeated Eureka’s Levi Garcia by a pin in the third-place bout at 160 pounds. At a 170 pounds, Blythe scored a 7-1 decision over CMR’s Max Sechena. Denton’s third-place finish came in the 182-pound weight class with a pin in 1:13 of Fairfield’s Colton Like.
Bridger Grover finished in fifth place at 132 pounds. He defeated Malta’s Kaden Moore by an 11-5 decision. Also placing fifth was Brady Boyce at 205 pounds. He pinned Havre’s Austin Ratliff in 1:59 in their final match.
“Duane Otto was only a round out from placing,” added DeCock. “We’re seeing improvement. This weekend was nice and a step in the right direction, but our kids still need to get better. Third place at Cut Bank isn’t our ultimate goal.”
This weekend the Fergus team travels to Missoula to compete in the prestigious Rocky Mountain Invitational.
“It’s a tough tournament,” said DeCock, “but I am looking forward to some of our kids making some noise. We just need to show up ready to wrestle, and we’ll see what happens.

Fergus results from Cut Bank
103 pounds: Chance Miller pinned Browning’s JC Larson, 1:42; pinned by Shepherd’s Mason Henery, 3:38; pinned by Whitefish’s Anwar Mirza, 1:31.
120 pounds: Tanner Mannin pinned by Eureka’s Kadhen Bakkila, 1:42; pinned CMR’s Keefer Marquart, 4:44; pinned by Havre’s Marc Ramierez, 2:06.
132 pounds: Caleb Birdwell pinned CMR’s Hunter Cunningham, 2:45; won a 17-3 technical fall over Eureka’s Hank Dunn; won a 5-4 decision over Malta’s Kaden Moore; won a 10-6 decision over Wolf Point’s Quinn Whitmus.
Bridger Grover pinned Cut Bank’s Colten Barsness, 1:01; won a 6-2 decision over Chinook’s J.T. Hauer; pinned Fairfield’s Colton Hillyard, 2:03; won a 2-1 decision over Havre’s Conner Harris; defeated by Whitefish’s Dakota Flannery, 8-4; won a 10-4 decision over Malta’s Kaden Moore; lost a 7-6 decision to Flannery; pinned Browning’s Aaron Wells, 1:15.
Treyvn Nave pinned by Havre’s Conner Harris, 3:27; pinned by Wolf Point’s Quinn Whitmus, 0:55.
138 pounds: Duane Otto pinned Choteau’s Watson Snyder, 2:24; lost a 4-0 decision to Eureka’s Jonathan Schmidt; pinned Whitefish’s Robert Bertlesen, 2:37; won an 11-1 major decision over CMR’s Tyler Carter; pinned Chester-Joplin-Inverness’s Kobe Tran, 2:58; lost a 7-1 decision to Libby’s Laine Young.
145 pounds: Chase Farrar pinned Chinook’s Garret Lowham, 2:52; won a 19-3 technical fall over Fort Benton’s Landon Taylor; lost by pin to Havre’s Parker Filius, 2:56; won an 8-0 major decision over Popular’s Angel Boyd; won a 2-0 decision over Circle’s Trey Taylor.
Grady Gilpatrick pinned Browning’s Joe Boggs, 1:09; lost a 6-2 decision to CMR’s Mike Brien; pinned by Havre’s Parker Filius, 0:21.
160 pounds: Alex Wickens won a 7-4 decision over Fairfield’s Dawson Gentillon; won a 16-1 technical fall over Browning’s Emmit Augare; lost a 5-2 decision to Havre’s Dane Flammond; won a 5-2 decision over CMR’s Graydon Irish; pinned Eureka’s Levi Garcia, 1:49; pinned Great Fall High JV’s Noah Canon, 4:49.
170 pounds: Wyatt Blythe pinned Fairfield’s Noah Harrison, 1:04; pinned Poplar’s Jeffery Berger, 5:49; lost a 4-2 decision to Eureka’s Colby Hammock; won a 6-2 decision over Shepherd’s Sonny Cochran; won a 7-1 decision over CMR’s Max Sechena; pinned Malta’s Andres Lopez, 2:50.
182 pounds: Bradley Denton won an 8-5 decision over Poplar’s Tyson Sutherland; lost by pin to Eureka’s Garret Graves, 2:39; won a 10-5 decision over Valier’s Brett Monroe; pinned Fairfield’s Colton Like, 1:14.
205 pounds: Brady Boyce pinned Fairfield’s Orion MacDonald, 1:19; pinned by Whitefish’s Travis Catina, 2:34; won by pin over Poplar’s Raven Mathison, 0:30;  pinned Libby’s Clancy Gout, 2:20; lost by pin to Eureka’s Joe Fehr, 0:59; pinned Havre’s Austin Ratliff, 1:59; pinned Poplar’s Danny Eder, 1:02.
285 pounds: Elijah Greenberg pinned Fairfield’s Ellex Payne 0:39; lost by pin to Harlem’s Reece Hutton, 1:42; lost by pin to Conrad’s Bradley Vanderbush, 2:22.



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