SHERIDAN — Sheridan wrestlers begin their biggest home schedule in years Friday night.
With two-straight days of action at SHS, the wrestlers re-take the mat after a fast start to the season despite the a young team under second-year head coach Tyson Shatto.
The former University of Wyoming wrestler took over the Broncs team last year, becoming the third different head coach in as many years. He admitted that last year was a learning experience for both himself as a young coach and the team.
“Being my first year last year, it was kind of hard to build those relationships with those kids,” he said. “It’s been a lot better this year because as we got back in the room they understand right away what my expectations were and they were ready to roll with that.
“I think that really helped us get to where we are right now.”
Sheridan saw its early-season high point in Worland before the Christmas break with three wrestlers reaching all-star duals — Timmy Cowan (170), Hayden Hastings (132) and Cody Delk (182) — on the way to a fifth-place gold bracket finish at the ultra-competitive regional event.
Sheridan gets Riverton Friday night, a team that won the silver bracket in Worland. For the Border Wars on Saturday they’ll see three Billings schools in West, Skyview and Senior. Senior and Skyview were second and third ahead of Sheridan in Worland, but Sheridan didn’t dual either team.
“I think we have a younger team, but I think as far as advancement this year from last year I think we’re way ahead,” Shatto said. “We’ve got guys working hard, we’ve got guys with goals in mind. They understand the importance of taking it one match at a time, and how to improve from one match to the next.”
While before the season household names were the two-time All-American Delk and last year’s state runner-up Tory Music (195), multiple wrestlers have broken out to begin 2013-14, building Sheridan into a threat at the top of the 4A conference.
“We’re getting that out of them and they’re responding to us as a coaching staff,” Shatto added. “They’re competing in here in the room, and we understand that we have a great shot as a team. We’re seeing that in their work ethic and performance on the weekends.”
While not unusual, adding to the already physically-trying sport were lengthy, season-opening bus rides for two-day tournaments in Worland, Forsyth, Mont., Rapid City and Powell.
“It’s just a fact that we need to be home, our guys respond best when we wrestle at home,” Shatto admitted. “Don Julian has done a great job of helping us with that; we have more home matches than I would say any Sheridan team has ever had.
“That’s huge, we want to sell that to this community, show that we are building this program, that we are one of the top teams in the state. We want to present that and wrestle in front of our home crowd where we’re the best.”
On Friday, Riverton dual begins with the JV at 5 p.m., with the varsity to follow around 6 p.m. Saturday’s Border Wars begin at 10 a.m., with Sheridan wrestling Billings West, Skyview, and Senior in that order.
Sheridan Bronc wrestlers ranked on Wyowrestling.com
106 1. Braxton Cooper
113 3. Dominic Miller
126 3. Tucker Goss
132 3. Hayden Hastings
170 2. Timmy Cowan
182 2. Cody Delk
195 2. Tory Music
220 5. Dane Chambers