The Polson Pirates had several standouts that qualified for the Class A Montana State Wrestling Championship Friday and Saturday in Billings.
“We had our best outing of the season at the Western Divisional on Friday and Saturday,” Pirates Coach Bob Owen said. “It was great to finally get all of our core veterans back in the line-up. Going into the Divisionals, I said that I would feel good about qualifying ten for the state tournament. We were pleasantly surprised to move 14 of the 16 wrestlers we entered on to the state tournament in Billings this weekend.”
Hunter Fritsch (162) and Parker Adler (138) each won their weight classes to advance to state. Polson’s other wrestlers include Mateo Quinones (4th at 113), Owen Targerson (8th at 120), Kaleb Unger (8th at 145), Garrett Croft (5th at 152), Koby Garcia (4th at 170), Jasper Drake (6th at 205), Kordell Walker (7th at 205), and heavyweight Ryan Burland (6th at heavyweight).
According to Owen, several other Pirates wrestlers made an impact en route to their state qualifying.
Kedrick Baker, 103: Pirates wrestler Kedrick Baker was one of the Pirates wrestlers that reached finals in the Saturday’s Class-A Divisionals at Dillon High School.
Bridger Wenzel, 126: According to Owen, Wenzel showcased a “little rust” in his return.
Despite missing a couple of weeks, Owen said Wenzel will have a chance to be competitive at state.
“Wenzel was edged out in his championship match, showing a little rust for his time away from competition,” Owen said. “He should bounce back and have a great chance at being at the top of his weight group at state.”
Cameron Brown, 145: Pirates wrestler Cameron Brown is becoming one of the more intriguing stories as he went through a tough bracket to finish third and qualified for the Class A Montana State Championships. Brown, who accidentally shot himself in the leg with a .22 caliber-pistol earlier in the season, overcame adversity to still qualify for state.
“Brown showed great courage in his comeback from an accidental gunshot wound to his leg before the wrestling season started,” Brown said. “He gave the top-seeded wrestler a great match in the semi-finals loss and then wrestled back to a third place finish. His grit is replacing any handicap he has with his injured leg.”
Noah Humphrey, 182: Polson Pirate Noah Humphrey qualified for state by finishing fourth at the western Montana duals.
“Koby Garcia, Quinones, and Humphrey all took fourth place and will seed well for this competition,” Owen said. “Getting our younger wrestlers the opportunity to compete at the state tournament will be extremely valuable for them next season.”