The Savage Horsemen travelled to Ronan at the end of last week for the 2018 Western Montana Duals.
Assistant Coach Jake Lile, said though wrestling is normally seen as an individual event, the ‘team meet’ at Ronan was one that could be seen as more of a challenge for the Savage Horsemen.
“A dual format is different from a traditional wrestling tournament in that entire teams compete against one another, head-to-head, rather than individuals competing to place in their own weight class,” said Lile.
Further explaining that with 13 weight classes ranging from 103lbs to 285lbs, it is considered a full team line-up. For the Savage Horsemen they only filled 9 of the 13 classes available.
“Unfortunately for small teams, often times they will not be able to fill all 13 weight classes, and will consequently take a forfeit at that weight. A forfeit gives the opposing team 6 points, the same as if the wrestler taking the forfeit would have pinned,” explained Lile.
Thus starting the competition 24 points behind due to the unique scoring for this style of tournament. Points in duals are scored as follows: A pin or forfeit earns 6 team points, a technical fall (leading an opponent by 15 or more points) earns 5 team points, a major decision (outscoring an opponent by between 8-14 points) earns 4 team points, and a regular decision (outscoring an opponent by between 1-7 points) earns 3 team points.
“Starting off behind the eight ball with points from larger teams is a difficult margin to overcome,” said Lile.
Though it seemed to be a tough meet, there were highlighted wrestlers from the Savage Horsemen that brings to light the dedication the team is putting fourth this season.
Highlight of the weekend was when Freshman Jesse Uski of Hot Springs High School; he pinned Glacier JV’s 138-pounder with seconds to go in the first period.
This being a big move that spurred the Savage Horsemen on to beat Glacier JV’s full lineup of 13 wrestlers 39-36.
“Jesse’s two wins on Saturday are what changed the game and gave us the wins. Being a freshman and first year wrestler, he has really come through expecially being in a varsity position,” said Head Coach Jeff Kujala.
“Jesse’s a young wrestler who shows lots of potential and has been improving at a steady rate throughout the season. Jesse is a great addition to the team and Plains looks forward to having him for 3 more years,” said Lile.
Another stand-out performance of the weekend was delivered by Junior Kenzie Angle, who went 6-0 over the weekend. Angle defeated every girl even close to her weight, earning victories over Big Sky, Bigfork, and Deer Lodge.
“Kenzie is a wrestler who is always listening for cues from her coaches, and one who continues to get better as the season progresses every year. She is really an excellent addition to our room,” said Lile of his only female wrestler.
Senior Daniel Uli remains undefeated and Junior Josiah Vanderwall avenged his only loss of the season this last weekend, majoring Libby’s Trey Thompson in a decisive victory.
“We’re looking forward to our next match in Choteau. It’s one of the largest B/C tournaments in the state. We won it last year, and we’re looking forward to multiple placings,” said Lile.