SHERIDAN — Sheridan High School wrestling hosted the Blue/Gold Dual at Sheridan Junior High School Tuesday night to help solidify the roster and gain experience wrestling in front of a crowd.
Head coach Tyson Shatto said the matches were used to determine rankings and were organized by weight class to determine who would represent the team at each weight class in duals this season. There are 14 weight classes at the high school level. Each wrestler had two matches during the dual.
Shatto said some of the matches featured grapplers from different weight classes and were used as exhibition matches to help challenge the athletes.
The scrimmage was the first chance this season the athletes performed in front of a crowd. While the grapplers have competed already this year, the crowd adds nerves, and wrestling for rankings creates a bigger goal than just practicing technique.
“Now you have a fan base; you are wrestling in front of a fan base and wrestling in front of your family. It is a different atmosphere,” Shatto said. “Now, it is for something. It is to be the top guy in that weight class. We can start seeing how these guys will react in these situations. It is important for us as coaches so that we can go into practice and talk about those things. Wrestling is not just about going in and doing the physical, it is about doing the mental, too.”
The Broncs will host the first dual of the season Thursday against Worland High School. Tuesday’s scrimmage provided crowd experience that should help the Broncs on Thursday, senior captain Camden McArthur said.
“For me personally, I came in as a freshman and this was like a huge [experience],” McArthur said. “I was so nervous walking into this and it really showed me that it is not that much scarier in front of people than in the room. “
Shatto said he was overall pleased with the performance of his team following the match. It provided a learning experience and both coaches and athletes now know what areas they need to address in practice moving forward.
McArthur said the Broncs have a solid base so far to start the season. The junior and sophomore classes provide the team with good wrestlers that will make an impact on the season. The Broncs showed some strengths and weaknesses in the dual.
Shatto said the season is still young, and the athletes can not read too much into the first few matches, with plenty of room and time for improvement.
The biggest area the wrestlers will need to work on is maintaining weight, McArthur said. He is lucky because he does not need to cut as much weight as others do.
Maintaining weight is difficult and a challenge every wrestler faces.
A wrestler can compete in a heavier weight division, but if he is over the weight limit in his desired class, then he is ineligible to compete in the weight class.
The first dual against Worland will be a varsity only dual starting 5 p.m. at Sheridan High School.