LANDER – The Wheatland High School wrestling team set out west last weekend to compete at the Lander Invitational, and brought back six placing medals for their efforts.
According to coach Colt Goff, the Bulldogs were fighting some injuries and illnesses, but were still able to put together a collective effort that earned them a sixth-place finish as a team.
“It was definitely a good weekend,” Goff said. “We had kids that were sick and injured. A lot of the guys talked about how we could do a lot better. Both kids and coaches included.
“You always have to suspect that there is going to be something that is going to come up that’s not planned out. For the most part we did pretty well, but we still see a lot of room to do better by the time state comes around.”
Wheatland was led by 152-pound junior Seth DeWitt, who placed third and 220-pound senior Wyatt Crane, who placed fourth.
DeWitt battled his way into the semifinals by pinning Torrington High School’s Casey Britton, but fell in the semis 9-1 to Powell High School’s Brody Karhu. DeWitt battled his way into the consolation final, where he edged Star Valley High School’s Tyson Hoopes 6-2.
In the light heavyweight bracket, Crane won his opening round match by pinning Star Valley’s Gabe Neild. In the semifinals, Crane suffered a 7-0 loss to Douglas High School’s Cody Pinkerton. Crane pinned Star Valley’s Brennan Harris in the consolations semis, but fell to Logan Cole of Thermopolis High School in the consolation final.
“We have a weekly Grit Club that shows who was living the championship lifestyle,” Goff said. When we looked back at who wasn’t late to practice, who didn’t have any problems with grades, who never had to be motivated to get going - we had two individuals that were also our highest placers. They were Seth Dewitt and Wyatt Crane. They were really living that championship lifestyle.”
Jake Hicks placed fourth in the 106-pound division, and Keegan Meyer was fifth at the same weight. Ethan Reed placed third at 138 pounds. Drake Amundson was sixth at 145 pounds.
As the team prepares for the Ron Thon Invitational in Riverton next weekend, Goff said the focus on practice will be mostly on healing and refining technique as the postseason looms ahead.
“A lot of our work has already been done this season,” he said. “We’re looking as a group to refine technique. We’re going to increase our intensity in practice, but lower our volume so that way we can get past some of this sickness and injuries to make sure we’re in prime shape for state.”