Nine Wildcat wrestlers headed to state tourney

By Ron Burtz

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The Custer wrestling team is sending a record nine wrestlers to the State B Wrestling Tournament in Rapid City this weekend. From left are Jacob Brunner, Irail Griffin, Jonathan Lewis, Levi Mines, Chance Grill, Micaiah Grace, Ty Dailey, Brennan Hanes and Logan Graf.

A record nine Wildcat wrestlers punched their tickets to the Class B State Wrestling Tournament in Rapid City this weekend, earning enough points in the process to take second place among 17 teams at the Region 4B tournament in Ft. Pierre last Saturday. Six Custer wrestlers took first place in their individual weight classes and three brought home third-place honors. 

Philip Area took first place at regions with 221 team points, Custer had 203.5 points for its second-place finish and Lead-Deadwood followed up in third over 80 points back at 120.  

Custer’s head coach Jared Webster, who was presented with the Region 4B Coach of the Year award, says he’s very excited about the victory. 

“Six champs coming out of the regional…that’s never been done,” said Webster. He says he’s also thrilled with his team’s three third-place finishers. “We didn’t lose a match in the last round which was awesome,” he said. 

Eight Wildcat wrestlers went to state last year but Webster says he can’t remember the last time Custer sent nine wrestlers to the state tourney.  

Logan Graf, who is 47-6 on the season, placed first in the 106-pound weight class and scored 25 team points. He won the first place match by a 10-2 major decision over Bryson Muirhead of Lyman. 

At 113 pounds, Jacob Brunner came in first and scored 26 team points, winning his first-place match by medical forfeit over Burk Blasius of Philip. 

Jonathan Lewis at 120 pinned Shilo Mowry of Lyman in 5:54 to win his first-place title. He scored 26 points for his team in the process. 

Senior Chance Grill took first in the 152-pound weight class and scored 24 points. He won the first-place match by 7-0 decision over Isaac Olson of Mobridge-Pollock. Grill’s record so far this season is 45-2.

Fellow senior Levi Mines was first at 160 and scored 24 team points. Mines won by 16-2 major decision over Tucson Freeman of Mobridge-Pollock to earn his first-place ranking.

Micaiah Grace placed first in the 170-pound weight class and scored 24 team points. Grace won the first-place match by 9-1 major decision over Tegun Spring of Philip.

Third-place honors went to Brennan Hanes (138), Irail Griffin (145) and Ty Dailey (195). 

Hanes won by 7-2 decision over Jesse McCann of Harding County in the third-place match. He earned 13 team points for his efforts. Griffin scored 16 team points and won his third-place match by 13-3 major decision over Kurtis Mooney of Bennett County. Dailey pinned Cody Lone Elk of Red Cloud in 2:53 to win his third-place match and earned 12 points for the Wildcats.

Other wrestlers putting points on the board for the ‛Cats were Cade Grill with six, Sterling Sword with three points and Elijah Steele earning four. 

Webster says he’s looking forward to seeing how his wrestlers will perform this weekend at the state tournament at the Rushmore Plaza Civic Center. 

“Everybody’s hungry for a title and everybody’s trying to get that gold medal,” he said. “We’ve got kids that have a shot. We’ll see what happens.”