Hawks bring home two titles
December 9, 2021
The Blue Hawk wrestlers were back on the mat over the weekend in their first competition of the season and coach Mike Thilmony was happy with the results. The team saw three wrestlers in the finals at the Bob Owen Invitational, a two-day tournament in Polson, and two won their brackets.
“The Owen Invitational is a tough tournament,” Thilmony said. “Overall it was a really good weekend. We like that tournament out of the gate as we see a lot of good competition, even from Class A. It tests us early.”
Senior Trae Thilmony, a two-time state champion coming off another state championship with the Blue Hawks football team last month, placed first in the 145-pound weight class. Thilmony pinned his first opponent, Codiak Killorn of SCHS, in 29 seconds, and his second, Noah Trosper of PHS, in 1:25, before beating Branden Torpen of Columbia Falls by technical fall (16-1) in the second period. In the semifinal round of the Bob Owen Invitational, Thilmony dominated Landon Bishop of Ronan 11-1, setting up a championship match against Justin Windauer of Columbia Falls, who placed second at 126 in the 2021 state tournament earlier this year. Thilmony won 14-9, but Coach Thilmony said it was a good test for the senior.
Max Hannum also dominated his bracket at 170 pounds on Saturday, pinning his way to the championship. Hannum took down Coby Booker of Libby in 35 seconds, then Clayton Beall of HHS in 1:51. In his semifinal match, Hannum pinned Dillon Warner of Frenchtown in 1:15. In the championship match, Hannum defeated Canyon Sargent of St. Ignatius in 4:40.
Junior Blue Hawk Elijah Ratliff ended the Polson tournament with a second place medal. His journey to the podium kicked off with a pin in 1 minute, 42 seconds over Libby’s Wyatt Gregg, followed by a 7-2 decision over Andrew Carmody of Hamilton. Ratliff then went back into pin mode as he took Jeffery Berryman of Stevensville to the mat in 1:54 before winning his semifinal match 9-7 over Rowdy Crump of Columbia Falls. In the championship match, Ratliff was pinned by top seed Danyk Jacobsen of Livingston, a returning state champion.
Diego Long wrestled at 120 for the Blue Hawks. He fell in the second period to Marley Erickson of Libby. At 126 was Levi Wenz, who met Angus Anderson of Bigfork. Anderson won by pin in the second period. Westin Brown wrestled for the Hawks at 132, falling by pin to Park/Sweet Grass’’s Jesse Hopper. Senior Ryan Bucher is wrestling for this first season with the Blue Hawks. In the 160-pound bracket, Bucher fell by pin to Ryley Jurado of Eureka in the first round of the Owen Invitational.
Coach Thilmony said that though some of the younger wrestlers lost matches, there was good effort from the entire time. “We’re going to work on conditioning and honing in on technique and get the kids wrestling at a higher level,” he said. The Blue Hawks gathered 88.5 points as a team in Polson and finished 12th in the 19-team tournament. The Blue Hawk girls did not get a chance to wrestle in Polson, but Thilmony said they are still working on finding more opportunities for the Thompson Falls girls’ wrestling program, which is in its first year at the high school level.
The Hawks head to Mission for duals on Friday, then will compete in the Bob Kinney Memorial tournament in Superior on Saturday. Thilmony said they will have a larger roster in Superior and will aim for finishing higher as a team.