CASPER — Senior Kyle Breen was the last member of the Tongue River High School wrestling team to leave the mat Saturday during the state tournament.
Breen won his first three matches by fall, brining him to the championship match in the 2A 152-pound bracket. Reaching the finals earned Breen All-State honors — the first Eagle wrestler to do so — and he had an opportunity to bring home the program’s first title.
Head coach CJ Scholl said he always wants wrestlers to be performing their best at the end of the season and was really happy with what he saw. Breen had a fantastic weekend, Scholl said.
After six hard minutes of wrestling, Breen lost to Shoshoni High School’s Tryston Truempler by a 10-5 decision.
Eleven Eagles took the mat Feb. 28-29 to participate at the state tournament in the program’s second year of existence. Tongue River sent seven wrestlers to the final tournament last season.
The Eagles have 10 wrestlers coming back next season with Breen being the only athlete to graduate. Scholl said Breen will be dearly missed.
Breen leaves behind a legacy for the Tongue River wrestling program. He set a precedent for the program and the legacy Breen leaves behind will have dividends of the program down the road, Scholl said.
It is a legacy filled with hard work in the wrestling room and an inspiration to future generations.
Scholl said Breen did a great job of leading by example and is more proud of the way Breen displayed what it means to wrestle in the state tournament as a member of the Tongue River wrestling program.
Breen said the effort given in the practice room pays off at state. The title matches are tough and a wrestler needs to be on his A-game to win a championship.
The USA club wrestling team full of future Eagle grapplers was in attendance to watch the state matches. Scholl said young wrestlers were watching Breen in the title match saying they want to be like Kyle Breen. Breen showed what someone can accomplish at state, Scholl said.
Breen was one of the few wrestlers entering the program with experience; Sheridan High School his freshman and sophomore seasons. Breen said it was nice to wrestle for his home school and had really good coaches at Tongue River.
“I believed in them and they believed in me,” Breen said.
Breen said it is the longest sport he has participated in and has been the toughest sport.
Breen sees the program growing with a solid group of eighth-graders joining the program next season.
Scholl said the experience at the state meet helped motivate the current wrestlers and drive their passion. Athletes were talking about going to camps over the summer with the goal of improving next year.
Having a strong passion keeps guys wanting to wrestle, Scholl said.
“Wrestling is not an easy sport; it is not always a fun sport. A lot of time it does suck, but that passion to want to be the best you can is what this sport teaches us. That is why you see all of the coaches spending hours and days away from their families, giving everything they have. It is because they want to give back to the sport that gave them so much,” Scholl said.
Overall, it was a fun and exciting weekend. Scholl said he was glad the younger guys had a chance to experience what state looked like and hopes the Tongue River wrestling community can continue to grow and improve.
“Hopefully Moorcroft will not be the only green team to fear one day,” Scholl said.
Tongue River results:
Tongue River placed 17th as a team with 31 points. Moorcroft won its eighth straight team title with 203.5 points.
Aiden Collingwood was 0-2 in the 2A 106-pound bracket.
Payton Bastrom was 0-2 in the 2A 126-pound bracket.
Zach Cook was 0-2 in the 2A 138-pound bracket.
AJ Moline was 0-2 in the 2A 128-pound bracket.
Collin Eisele was 0-2 in the 2A 145-pound bracket.
James McKenzie was 1-2 in the 2A 145-pound bracket and scored four points for the team.
Kyle Breen was 3-1 in the 2A 152-pound bracket and scored 24 points for the team.
Wyatt Barnes was 0-2 in the 2A 160-pound bracket.
Adam Stainbrook was 1-2 in the 2A 160-pound bracket and scored three points for the team.
Luke Singer was 0-2 in the 2A 170-pound bracket.
Caleb Cloud was 0-2 in the heavyweight bracket.