Ronan High School wrestling coach Dylan Kramer and some of his wrestlers will both gain new experiences. Twelve of his 15 wrestlers qualified for the Class A State wrestling meet on Feb. 9-10 at the MetraPark Arena in Billings.
Kramer, who is in his first-ever year as a head coach out of college, said he felt he and his team will be prepared for one of the biggest high school athletic events in the state of Montana at MetraArena.
“You only have one first year and I’ve told the kids how proud I am of them and how enjoyable they are to be around,” Kramer said. “It makes experiencing State much easier and it makes the season bittersweet because you don’t want it to end. It’s been such a fun season and I am really enjoying it.”
Kramer admits in his first season guiding his Chiefs to one of Montana’s biggest stages there are a lot of details outside the square circle he must pay attention to.
“There are always a lot of things that you have to be aware of and it’s not just the wrestling aspect,” Kramer said. “You have to balance and take care of a lot of behind-the-scenes stuff like doing scouting and running practice. There is a lot to be done and the experience is exciting. I am just enjoying it.”
Kramer said he knows this is a big event for him and his team. He and his staff are trying to adequately prepare his kids for the spectacle.
“I don’t think this is just another sporting event because it’s one of the biggest spectacles in the state of Montana and there are more fans there than at any other event because it’s an all-class tournament,” Kramer said. “We try to have our kids embrace it. Teams don’t come apart from the outside in. They come apart from the inside out and you have to remind them that the people rooting for you have been there all season including your teammates, parents, close friends and family. It just makes it an awesome event to be part of.”
Kramer had 12 kids qualify as his Chiefs took fourth-place behind three powerhouse Class A teams at Class A Divisionals at Columbia Falls.
Trapper McAllister (103, Trevor Bartel (103), Spencer Stagg (120), Zane Walchuk (120), Owen Brown (126), Hunter Peterson (138), Seth Cheff (152), Dan Cheff III and Daniel Collins Bishop (160), Justin Mays (182), Wesley Pablo (205) and Sam Mocabee (285) all qualified.
Kramer said he felt his team is doing a good job speaking at the optimal time.
“I think we are trying to do a good job at peaking at the right time,” Kramer said. “We are wrestling better every week. We are figuring out different things and making different tweaks. Our team just gets a little better each weekend.”
The Chiefs aren’t just satisfied with qualifying for State. They would like to bring home some hardware as they will be one of several teams in contention for that coveted third-place position with Havre and Sidney being a cut above the other competitors’ team wise.
“There are a lot of talented kids and obviously, we will want to lay it all out on the line because everyone is competing,” Kramer said. “Our hats off to the 12 kids that were able to make the tournament but we aren’t just satisfied with qualifying. We want to place high as a team at State.”