DAYTON — In its first year of existence, the Tongue River High School wrestling program has started in an encouraging manner.

The Eagles have 16 participants, more than enough to field a full team and a solid number to build on going forward.

“We want to set a good foundation for ourselves,” head coach CJ Scholl said.

Scholl brings nine years of wrestling coaching experience, four as a head coach. Once the Sheridan County School District 1 Board of Trustees approved the sport for this year, Scholl yearned to be the inaugural person in charge of the program.

“I wanted to be the guy that, if [wrestling] did get going, put that on me and I’ll do what I can,” Scholl said.

Scholl enjoys the challenge provided by the sport and said wrestling matches have the potential to be a grueling six minutes.

“You’re using every muscle in your body, you’re going 100 percent at all times, because if you’re not, you’re getting beat,” Scholl said.

Junior Kyle Breen, one of the only athletes with previous high school wrestling experience, hopes to qualify for state in the 152-pound weight class.

Breen said mental toughness is key to performing well.

“You get tired pretty easily, but it’s just the mindset that you just have to push through it,” Breen said.

Freshman Jacob Knobloch will compete in the 235-pound weight class in his second year of organized wrestling.

Knobloch said he enjoyed the sport more than anticipated last year and found the technical aspects fun to learn. He also appreciates the positivity and camaraderie and said it is neat to be on the ground floor of the program’s inaugural season.

Scholl wrestled in high school and said the sport’s applicability is important.

“We’ve got to be able to break these kids down and get them to these breaking points, so we can teach them how to handle themselves,” Scholl said. “If they think for one second that losing a wrestling match is going to be the toughest thing to happen in their lives, they’re in for a big surprise.”

In the program’s first year, the Eagles will look to improve as this season continues, setting a foundation for years to come.

2019 schedule

Jan. 4-5 at Shane Shatto Invitational (Douglas)

Jan. 11-12 at Done Runner Invitational (Pavilion)

Jan 18-19 at Moorcroft Mixer

Jan. 25-26 at Ron Thon Invitational (Riverton)

Feb. 1-2 at Greybull tournament

Feb. 8-9 at Sundance duals

Feb. 15-16 at Regionals in Wright

Feb. 22-23 at State in Casper