The Bulldogs closed out their season over the weekend at the Class A State Tournament in Billings, finishing with a handful of wrestlers competing on day two and two wrestlers placing.
Nathan Sproul (103) and Dakota Flannery (138) both took fifth at the tournament. The Dogs as a team finished 17th overall.
Head coach Ryan Boyle said he was proud to see his wrestlers fight hard through the tournament, despite many of them lacking experience.
In the case of Sproul and Flannery, Boyle said placing at state was a goal throughout the year.
“They had their eyes set on that all season and that’s what they ended up doing,” he said.
For Flannery, an injury in his penultimate match hindered his tournament experience, but he was determined to wrestle his final match.
“Dakota got kind of banged up,” Boyle said. “It was a big time gut check. He could have just defaulted out and taken sixth, but he wanted to finish the tournament.”
Camren Ross (152) and Jackson Carson (113) also both went 2-2 and made it onto the second day of wrestling.
While he didn’t get any wrestlers on the podium this year, Boyle said he is extremely pleased with the season as a whole.
“I think it was one of our best seasons,” he said. “Starting out, there were some kids that didn’t come out for the team that we were expecting to come out and we thought that was going to hurt us. In the end, this team had some chemistry and kind of gelled together. There wasn’t a big division or any cliques, and all they kept working really hard. It was a special team as far as that.”
This year’s team graduates seniors Dean Kellogg, Sidney Cooke, Robert Bertelsen and Courtny Moran, but returns just about everybody else for next year.
And when his Bulldogs hit the mat next year, Boyle says he knows they’ll be a little older and they’ll have the experience they gained this year to rely on.
“It was a young team, we’re going to get everybody back but the three seniors that were on the mat. But we should be that much better next year,” he said.
1 Sidney / Fairview 310.5
2 Havre 170.0
3 Polson 128.5
4 Frenchtown 126.0
5 Columbia Falls 99.0
17 Whitefish 47.0
5th Place Match - 103
Nathan Sproul (Whitefish) 34-14, So. over Trevor Bartel (Ronan) 7-6, So. (Dec 6-2)
5th Place Match - 138
Dakota Flannery (Whitefish) 41-7, Jr. over Triston Davis (Corvallis) 37-15, Jr. (Dec 8-5)