SHERIDAN — Sheridan High School defeated Worland High School 43-31 in the first dual of the season. Sheridan won the final four matches to earn the victory.
Head coach Tyson Shatto said the matches were hard fought throughout the entire contest. Sheridan is working on technique but sometimes dual matches come down to guts and heart.
This was the first chance to see Sheridan compete against another team, testing the athletes. Four matches went to the final period, pushing the conditioning of the Sheridan wrestlers.
“You could tell our conditioning was not great but it was to be expected,” Shatto said. “Whatever they had in reserve they were using it. I think the crowd helps and I think the team being behind each other helps but they were fighting on fumes out there. I have to give them credit — a lot of heart and a lot of guts.”
Sheridan won two of the matches that lasted all three periods with senior Ethan Johnson winning by major decision in the 220-pound match and junior Justin Vela winning by decision. Both Broncs competed in the final two matches of the night.
“I am so proud of those two,” Shatto said. “Those two have worked their tails off for years trying to get to this point where they can go out there and battle for their team and get those wins. They do not come easy for those two, in the past they have not… I think it is a testament to the hard work they put in and the dedication.”
Johnson scored points in the final 10 seconds of all three periods to earn the major decision. Johnson had a reversal at the end of the first period followed by take downs in the waning seconds of the second and third periods. The final two points to end the match gave Johnson the major decision, earning the team four points instead of three points.
One point can mean a lot in a dual. Last year the dual against Thunder Basin High School came down to just one point.
Johnson said points can be hard to come by at times, especially when both wrestlers battle. In practice, Shatto will count down from five and the goal is to be on top at the end, simulating the end of a match.
Vela almost earned a win by pin and had his opponent stuck, but the clock ran out in the third period. Vela said he knew time was short and wanted to try to end the match with a pin.
Vela was tested throughout the match; neither he nor his competitor earned a point in the first period and they were tied 2-2 entering the final period.
Once the third period starts fatigue starts to set in. Vela said you have to shake it off and work off muscle memory and heart.
Vela said starting the third period on the bottom and earning a one-point lead because of an escape gave him the momentum.
“I just stuck to what the coaches have prepared me for and just stuck with what I do and wrestled through the match,” Vela said.
Sheridan had five wrestlers make their high school debut for the Broncs.
Shatto was happy with some of the things his young wrestlers showed and saw some mistakes that need to be corrected. The young wrestlers need to gain experience and with them being called into action early in their careers they will have to grow as wrestlers and grow fast.
Kolten Powers and Colson Coon earned victories by pin in their high school debut. Powers wrestling at 106 pounds pinned his opponent in the second period while Coon wrestling at 152 pounds won in the first period of his match.
Also earning victories in the first dual of the season were juniors Reese Osborne at 132 pounds, Hunter Goodwin at 138 pounds and Quinton Mangus at 182 pounds.
Landon Wood lost by pin in the second period of his first match. Wood wrestling at 113 pounds had a tough first test, facing senior Domanic Hartley who finished second in the 3A state tournament last season.
Shatto said Hartley is one of the best wrestlers in his weight class for the entire state. Wood gave up a few pounds in the match and has the possibility of wrestling at 106 pounds as the season goes on but provided a good starting point for the season.
Dawson Goss wrestling at 126 pounds and Adam Chapa at 145 pounds also lost their first match of their high school careers.
Also starting the season off with losses were sophomores Rudy Osborne at 120 pounds, Brock Steel at 160 pounds and Ashton Wagenor at 170 pounds.
Worland wrestlers make the stop in Sheridan each year on their way to the Rapid City Invite in Rapid City, South Dakota, that both teams will compete in Dec. 13-14.
Senior Ethan Johnson said the dual provides both teams an opportunity to prepare for the tournament against competition outside of their own school.