by nathan oster
Thursday’s dual against Cody was a microcosm of the Greybull-Riverside wrestling season to date.
Coach Mark Sanford said his squad wrestled tough against a quality 3A foe and that the dual was there to be won — if just a couple of matches had gone Greybull-Riverside’s way. They did not … and the result was a 44-36 loss that left the team with a 5-5 record in duals.
“I told the team afterwards that we let another one slip away,” said Sanford. “Time and time again, we’re getting opportunities to close and to finish … and we just aren’t doing it. Until we figure it out, it’s just going to keep happening.”
Cody boasted a solid lineup, anchored by Max Dickerman and John Beaudrie, both of whom placed at the recent Ron Thon Invitational. Dickerman, who was fifth at 126 in Riverton, fended off a valiant effort by Marshall Gibbs, winning 14-0. As for Beaudrie, he was the 160-pound king at Ron Thon, but moved up to 170 for the G-R dual. The move paid off for the Broncs, as he made quick work of Anthony Eibert, winning by pin in 38 seconds.
Those two wins accounted for only 10 of Cody’s points, though. The Broncs had to earn the rest — and that they did, winning by forfeit at 182, by decision at 113, and by pin at 106, 120, 160 and 285.
The last two were the heartbreakers of the bunch, as Sanford felt both Jesus Burgos, facing Dallen Jones at 160, and Tanner Bernstein, facing Malik Oliar at 285, had winnable matches that would have tipped the balance toward G-R. Burgos, who led at one time 2-0, was pinned in 3:29, while Bernstein fell in 2:32. Sanford said that in both matches, Cody wrestlers showed their cradling prowess. Once they got their opponent on his back, they quickly ended the match.
The regular season in the books, G-R will head to Lovell this week for the Class 2A West Regional. Sixteen Buffs are expected to take the mat, all of them hoping for at the very least a top eight finish. Those who are lucky enough to be in the top four at regionals will earn seeds for next week’s State 2A Wrestling Championships in Casper.
“We have to be wrestling our best and putting guys into the placing matches in as many weights as we possibly can,” said Sanford. “If we can do that, it’ll make the state tournament so much better for us. The path would become so much easier. (If you place in the top four) your first round match is easier, you can get a win and start moving forward. Something as simple as placing third instead of fourth can make a big difference in your second match at state.”
Cokeville is the team to beat, but Sanford said that if Shoshoni falters at all, second place is within reach, not only for G-R but also Lovell and Thermopolis, which are also gunning for a top-three finish.
Wrestling action starts at 3 p.m. Friday and will continue through the third-place and championship matches on Saturday. As it is a state event, admission fees will be charged. For Friday’s session, adults are $4, students $3. For Saturday’s, adults are $6, students $4. For both sessions, an adult pass costs $9, a student pass $6.