Fifteen Wildcats qualify for state wrestling meet

Nathan Steele

The Custer High School wrestling team had an impressive showing at the Region 4B wrestling tournament in Stanley County last weekend. The team came in second place out of  16 teams with a total of 239.5 points. Philip took the top spot with 265 points. Bennett County was the third-place team with 142 points.
“It was an excellent weekend. I’m very excited but we’ve got one more weekend to take care of business,” said head coach Jared Webster. He said that the team’s success in the meet can be attributed to the fact that the team has been “grinding every day, working hard and having goals” through the season, leading up to the end of the season.
Four girls advanced to the state tournament, although girls wrestling does not have a region tournament. The advancing girls are Essah Syverson, Addie Sander, River Bailey and Jessica Hite. Mattea Marshall will be an alternate.
Ayden Dooley earned third place in the 106-pound weight class for the boys. He had a bye into his first match, which he won over Taggen Paxton of McLaughlin in 47 seconds. In the semifinal match, he went up against Gatlin Gordes of Philip and lost by 12-2 major decision. Dooley then wrestled his way back to third place, beating Cory Ronish of Hill City by 10-0 major decision and Maxwell Anderson of Lemmon-McIntosh by 2-0 decision.
Tyler Trant won first place in the 113-pound weight class. In his first match, he beat Hot Springs’ Micah Butterfield by pin in 1:54. In the semifinal he beat Chance Wagner of Philip in two minutes flat to put him up against Maddux Risse of Bennett County in the championship match, which he won by 9-4 decision.
In the 120-pound weight class, Tray Weiss also came home a region champ. He won his first match over Lyman’s Skyler Langenbau by pin in 1:37. He pinned Joe Eaton of Newell in 1:16 in the semifinal match, and won the championship over Tukker Boe of Philip in a 5-0 decision.
In the 126-pound weight class, Ethan O’Connor earned third place. He had a bye into the quarterfinal, which he lost in sudden victory to Landon Bame of Stanley County (9-7). He wrestled his way back to the third-place match, pinning Jorge Trevino of Red Cloud in 2:01, winning by decision against Shay Smith of Harding County (6-2) and battling for a win in sudden victory with Philip’s Asher Peterson (3-1). In the third-place match, he beat Lyle Noel of Bennett County by 6-4 decision.
Riley Scott earned first place in the 132-pound weight class. He received a bye into his first match, which he won by pin in 1:25 over Holden Luper of Hot Springs. In the semifinal he pinned Philip’s Oakley Menzel in 45 seconds, and in the championship, he beat Gage Anderson by 7-3 decision.
David Lewis wrestled in the 138-pound weight class. He got a bye in the first round, and lost to Gavin Risse of Bennett County in the quarterfinal by pin in 2:54. He then won his next match over Philip’s Joe Trask by pin in 1:18. Lewis then lost his next match to Brayden Oldenkamp of Lyman by pin, ending his run in the tournament.
Leighton Sander placed second in the 144-pound class. He pinned Hot Springs’ Gabe Maurer in 1:32 in his first match and Miles Renner of Lead-Deadwood, the top-ranked wrestler in this weight class, in 5:27. In the championship round, he lost to Philip’s Jace Blasius, who was ranked second in the 150-pound weight class, by 13-3 major decision.
In the 150-pound weight class, Kai Rusch earned third place. He won his first match by pin over Antonio Morales of Red Cloud in just 27 seconds. In the quarterfinal, he lost in sudden victory to Bennett County’s Tyce Gropper (4-2). Rusch then wrestled his way back to third place, winning the next four matches in a row  over  Faith’s Quirt Wondercheck by pin in 1:38, over McLaughlin’s Levi Berndt by technical fall (20-1), over Lead-Deadwood’s Zade Seamen (11-4) and finally over Stanley County’s Taiten Shaw (3-2).
Blaise Arp placed fourth in the 157-pound class. He won his first match by pin over Jacoby Carry Moccasin of McLaughlin in 3:06, but lost his second to Kale Crowser of Philip by pin in 1:41. He won the next match over Isaiah Quasney of St. Thomas More by pin in 49 seconds to put him in the third place match, which he lost to Talon Krolikowski of Bennet County by pin in 4:12.
Ryder Bailey placed first in the 175-pound weight class. He won the first match over Lyman’s Jadin Sorenson by pin in 55 seconds and the second over Hot Springs’ Hunter Kunz by 15-3 major decision to put him in the championship match with Burk Blasius of Philip, which Bailey won by medical forfeit.
Parker Noem won first place in the 190-pound weight class. He got a bye in his first round and went on to win his next match by pin over Ayden Brakke of Lyman in 1:30. In the semifinal he pinned Hot Springs’ Von Mogen-Frankfort in 45 seconds. In the championship match, Noem defeated Philip’s Quinn Moon by 11-0 decision.
Lane Geisner wrestled at 215 pounds, and lost both his matches to Jensen Fitch of Philip by pin in 1:58 and to Wyatt Zeigler of Mobridge-Polluck by pin in 4:00.
Zayne Severyn (285) also placed first for the team, defeating Stanley County’s Calvin Grandon by pin in 35 seconds, Lemmon-McIntosh’s Emmitt Maher by 5-1 decision and Lyman’s Louie Thiry by pin in 2:25.
Tomorrow through Saturday qualifiers will compete in the state tournament in Rapid City where the team may be poised to top its fourth-place finish in last year’s tournament, a record placement for the school. Currently, they are the second-ranked class B team in the state, behind Canton.
“Canton is up there right now. We’re going to try to go after everybody,” said Webster.
Going into the tournament, the team is polishing up, staying in  shape and staying excited about getting to wrestle and be on the mat, said Webster.

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