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P-HS grapplers compete well

 

January 11, 2018



It wasn’t as good as it could have been, but the Plains-Hot Springs Savage Horsemen grappled their way through the Western Montana Duals tournament in Ronan Friday and Saturday, contending in five duals in the two days of mat action.

The only thing that P-HS coach Jeff Kujala said was disappointing was the fact that the pool they were placed in Friday was made up of teams that the Savage Men already see a lot of, squads like Thompson Falls, Florence and Libby during any given regular season.

“We see a lot of those teams already so it was a little discouraging to see who was in our pool Friday,” Kujala said. “We were hoping to see some different competition, it was a little bit of a letdown when we found out.”

In spite of wrestling the by-now familiar foes, the P-HS grapplers did do a lot of grappling in Ronan. P-HS lost 48-27 to Thompson Falls, 36-28 to Florence and 37-26 to Libby Friday. The Savage Horsemen completed their tourney appearance defeating the Kalispell Glacier JV 39-36 and Stevensville 30-25.

Looking at the bright side, “the kids all wrestled well in Ronan,” Kujala offered. “The team is progressing, we are seeing some good things on the mat.”

Against Thompson Falls, the still undefeated Daniel Uli defeated his opponent by pin at 126 pounds, Josiah Vanderwall won by technical fall at 132, and Luke Lile (160) won a decision.

Versus Florence, Conrad Vanderwall (120) and big brother Josiah won by pin, and heavyweight Steven Yother by major decision. The Vanderwalls both scored major decision wins against Libby, and Uli and Austin Stafford (145) won by pin.

Back in action Saturday against the Glacier JV, Peter Carey (113), Conrad Vanderwall, Uli, Jesse Uski (138), Stafford and Lile all won by pin, and Josiah Vanderwall by major decision.

Wrapping up their tourney appearance against Stevensville, Josiah Vanderwall, Uski and Lile all won their matches by pin.

Kujala said Kenzie Angle had an outstanding two days and won all six of her matches wrestling only other girls. He added that his squad is not really built for being a competitive duals squad. “A lot of our kids are bunched up around each other, so we can’t cover all the weights,” he said.

But the P-HS grapplers can be an effective tournament team as they proved last year in scoring their shocking win of the prestigious Choteau Invitational. The Savage Men will head to Choteau this weekend to defend their team title there.

“We look forward to Choteau,” Kujala said. “We always see some really good competition over there.”

 

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