Dogies place the hard way

By: 
Sonja Karp

Sonja Karp

NLJ Sports Reporter

 

Wrestling season is winding down, and last week the combined Newcastle/Upton team headed to Hill City for their last regular season tournament of year. 

The squad was short two of their top contenders in Reid Holmes and Kale Corley due to both dealing with injuries.

“We opted to sit Reid and Kale to give them a little extra time to heal before getting into Regionals,” head coach Lee McCoy explained. “This week will be their last regular season matches, and Reid will likely take the week off, depending on how his shoulder is progressing.”

For those Dogies who did compete on Saturday, several ended the day on a high note.

“We had a few placers and some kids getting to positions they don’t always get to this late in the season, so that was nice,” McCoy began. “Dylan Drost had a great day making it to the finals in the 132B bracket, and Josh Womack made it to the finals at 195 in the varsity bracket, and that was great for those guys.”

Unfortunately, several Dogies came out in the first round a little flat, which meant they had to take the hard road of coming back through wrestle-backs in order to be in a position to place.

“Honestly, I think our guys just weren’t prepared,” McCoy admitted. “We’ve really been stressing the importance of being ready, both mentally and physically, and I think they were maybe overlooking the tournament and thinking it might be easier than it was.”

Despite the lackluster beginning, the Dogies bounced back quickly with five placing seventh or higher in the varsity division and two placing in the junior varsity division.

Womack, just a freshman, was one Dogie who started strong on the day and pinned his way to the championship match. He lost the match by technical fall 21-6, thereby finishing in second place for his weight class. 

“Josh ran up against a pretty tough Hot Springs kid who was a true 195 pounder. He was big, strong, quick and pretty athletic,” McCoy stated. “I was super proud of him because even though he lost by TF, he didn’t slow down, he didn’t stop, he kept trying to attack and he wasn’t deterred by the kid beating up on him pretty good.”

Gavin Durfee of Upton was the Dogies’ next highest placer, finishing fourth on the day at 138. Blake Durfee (106) and Jacob Rhoades (138) took sixth place, while Weston Simianer (220) was seventh.

“I was proud of all those kids who battled back through the wrestle-backs,” McCoy nodded. “Jacob, Blake and Gavin all ended up with six matches while Weston had five. It’s good for them because it’s good for their conditioning and gives them an opportunity to work on issues when it’s still fresh, but it’s hard on them as well.”

Cael Holmes and Drost each wrestled JV at the tournament due to larger numbers in their respective weight classes. The brackets maxed out at 16 entrants, so McCoy opted to have these two wrestle at the JV level.

Unfortunately Holmes (106) pulled a hip flexor, which sidelined him and forced him to forfeit the 5th place match while Drost fell in the championship of the 132 pound weight class to take second.

The Dogies will finish out their regular season this week with a quad in Wheatland on Thursday. Given that many of his wrestlers are nearly topped out with matches for the season, McCoy is hoping to be able to go down and just dual Rawlins given it will be the team’s only opportunity to see the Outlaws before Regionals. On Friday, the team will host the Douglas Bearcats, which will be the last regular season meet.

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