DCHS wrestlers start strong at Sidney Invite
By Eric Killelea
Ranger-Review Staff Writer
In an impressive opening weekend, the Dawson County High School boys varsity wrestling team placed 12th in the Sidney Eagle Invitational.
The boys entered only six grapplers in the varsity meet yet finished in the middle of 25 top-notch teams from various classes across Montana, North Dakota, Idaho and Washington. From Idaho, Post Falls won the tournament with 186 points and Columbia High came in second with 170. Class Bozeman third with 160. DCHS scored 81.
During a recent interview, DCHS head coach Tim Zody said his team was unable to fill all 13 weight classes and explained how competing with fewer wrestlers could prevent them from scoring points in tournaments. Nonetheless, he spoke enthusiastically about his pride for the team’s performance in Sidney.
Sophomore Nelson Crisafulli (182 pounds) was the top scorer for the Red Devils during the tournament Friday and Saturday when he earned 24 points defeating opponents from Minot, N.D.; Hardin and Bozeman. Crisafulli lost a 2-4 decision to Michael Cox of Columbia High (Idaho) to place second.
“Nelson wrestled a solid match against Columbia High,” Zody said. “He was right in it the whole way. He’s doing really well using his legs to control guys and score points.”
Senior Ben Stortz (145) racked up 18 points defeating opponents from Killdeer, North Dakota, and Billings Senior. He lost a 0-3 decision to Chance McLane of Bozeman, before defeating Austin Ketchem of Billings Skyview and Jace Winter of Sidney to place third.
“Ben wrestled a pretty solid tournament,” Zody said, especially since he only lost to McLane, who placed third at 120 the Montana state tournament last season.
Senior Tyler Clapp (152) also scored 18 points defeating opponents from Custer County, Bozeman, Columbia High and Baker, North Dakota. He lost in a 7-8 decision to Coleton Kazmierczak of Post Falls and in a 3-6 decision to Brock Bushfield of Billings Skyview to place fifth.
“Tyler’s Columbia High match was close and the kid from Skyview was a two-time state champion,” Zody said. “He had some tough kids in his weight class.”
Zody added: “I’m thinking Tyler will go to 160 pounds this week. That’s where he wrestled in the state tournament the past two seasons.”
Junior Keegan Mires (heavyweight) scored 14 points defeating opponents from Killdeer, Lake Stevens, Idaho, and Sidney. He lost in a 0-1 decision to Merlin Whitedirt of Colstrip and fell to Levi Malcolm of Billings West to place fourth.
“Keegan wrestled a tough kid from Colstrip and then was in a close match with Billings West,” Zody said. “It was closer than it shows and he was right in there until he got pinned.”
Also, seniors Brandon Held (152) and Cade Dockter (160) went 1-2 each. Junior Matt Fulton (205) showed promise but lost twice.
“Cade didn’t wrestle last year because he was injured,” Zody said. “He dinged up his shoulder during the tournament. He may not wrestle this upcoming weekend. He’ll get some rest and come back soon.”
Overall, Zody believed his team did well in their opening weekend.
“But we’re not in shape yet,” he added. “A lot of things need to improve. We need to keep ourselves out of bad situations and capitalize on people’s mistakes. There’s plenty of room for improvement. I always tell the kids, ‘It’s not how we start, but how we finish that counts.’”
In other action, the DCHS junior varsity team entered five wrestlers into the tournament. All of the boys placed, including freshman Trevor Held (120, second), freshman Gullian Comstock (126, third), sophomore Mason Whitmer (138, fifth), freshman Colton Reidel (138, first) and sophomore Kirby Basta (205, first).
Last Friday, the Red Devils varsity team placed sixth out of eight teams in their pool in the Sidney Invitational Dual Tournament.
The dual tournament ran three pools with eight teams each. Pool B included teams from Sidney (first), Billings West (second), Hardin (third), Glasgow (fourth), Bowman (fifth), DCHS (sixth), Williston (seventh) and Killdeer (eighth).
“We have good wrestlers but we don’t have many on the team,” Zody said. “We’re going to struggle this year as far as duals. We’d have to shut everyone out with a pin in order to win without all the weight classes filled.”
While it’s nice to win duals, Zody noted it’s the individual performances that will help them with their state standings.
“At least duals don’t count against us for the state levels,” he said.
This week, the hometown team hosts Miles City on Tuesday before competing in another meet on Friday and Saturday in Glasgow.
Sidney Eagle Invitational 2017 Results for Dawson County
145 - Ben Stortz (4-1) placed 3rd and scored 18.00 team points.
Stortz 4-1 won by fall over Dylan Tabor (Killdeer) 1-2 (Fall 0:34)
Stortz (Dawson County) 4-1 won by decision over Caden Benboe (Billings Senior) 3-2 (Dec 4-0)
Chance McLane (Bozeman) 4-0 won by decision over Ben Stortz 4-1 (Dec 3-0)
Stortz 4-1 won by decision over Austin Ketchem (Billings Skyview) 5-2 (Dec 6-3)
3rd Place Match - Stortz 4-1 won by decision over Jace Winter (Sidney) 5-2 (Dec 6-0)
152 - Brandon Held (1-2) place is unknown and scored 5.00 team points. Held (Dawson County) 1-2 won by major decision over Cade Kay (Billings Skyview) 1-2 (MD 8-0)
Michael Weber (Forsyth) 4-0 won by major decision over Brandon Held (Dawson County) 1-2 (MD 12-1)
Keegan Mulhill (Bozeman) 5-1 won by major decision over Brandon Held (Dawson County) 1-2 (MD 12-3)
160 - Cade Dockter (1-2) place is unknown and scored 2.00 team points.
Cade Dockter (Dawson County) 1-2 won by decision over Trevor Burgess (Williston) 3-3 (Dec 5-3)
Ty Bradley (Colstrip) 4-1 won by major decision over Cade Dockter (Dawson County) 1-2 (MD 14-3)
Riley Waters (Sidney) 2-2 won by fall over Cade Dockter (Dawson County) 1-2 (Fall 3:30)
170 - Tyler Clapp (4-2) placed 5th and scored 18.00 team points.
Clapp (Dawson County) 4-2 won by fall over Colton Derenberger (Custer County) 0-2 (Fall 1:52)
Coleton Kazmierczak (Post Falls) 4-1 won by decision over Tyler Clapp (Dawson County) 4-2 (Dec 8-7)
Clapp (Dawson County) 4-2 won by fall over Dakota Schott (Bozeman) 2-2 (Fall 2:02)
Clapp (Dawson County) 4-2 won by major decision over Luis Cervantes (Columbia High) 3-3 (MD 10-0)
Brock Bushfield (Billings Skyview) 4-1 won by decision over Tyler Clapp (Dawson County) 4-2 (Dec 6-3)
5th Place Match - Clapp (Dawson County) 4-2 won by medical forfeit over Dalton Herbst (Baker) 3-3 (M. For.)
182 - Nelson Crisafulli (3-1) placed 2nd and scored 24.00 team points.
Crisafulli (Dawson County) 3-1 won by fall over Jacob Carmichael (Minot) 3-3 (Fall 1:04)
Crisafulli (Dawson County) 3-1 won by fall over Justin Zier (Hardin) 1-2 (Fall 3:17)
Crisafulli (Dawson County) 3-1 won by decision over Brandon Cooper (Bozeman) 5-1 (Dec 4-1)
1st Place Match - Michael Cox (Columbia High) 4-0 won by decision over Nelson Crisafulli (Dawson County) 3-1 (Dec 4-2)
HWT - Keegan Mires (3-2) placed 4th and scored 14.00 team points.
Mires (Dawson County) 3-2 won by decision over Curtis Hall (Killdeer) 1-2 (Dec 2-0)
Mires (Dawson County) 3-2 won by decision over Devin Kylany (Lake Stevens) 2-2 (Dec 5-0)
Merlin Whitedirt (Colstrip) 3-1 won by decision over Keegan Mires (Dawson County) 3-2 (Dec 1-0)
Mires (Dawson County) 3-2 won by decision over Ryan Horner (Sidney) 4-2 (Dec 6-4)
3rd Place Match - Levi Malcolm (Billings West) 5-1 won by fall over Keegan Mires (Dawson County) 3-2 (Fall 3:22)
Reach Eric Killelea at email@example.com.