Wildcat wrestlers win conference title

By Ron Burtz

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The Custer Wildcat wrestlers took first place at the Black Hills Conference wrestling tournament in Hill City over the weekend. In back, from left, are team manager Grace Lewis, Ryder Bailey, Chance Grill, Levi Mines, Mikael Grace, Eli Steele, Sterling Sword, Sage Fridell, Ty Dailey, Cade Grill, assistant coaches Alan Webster and Andy Kainz, manager Jessica Woodward; kneeling, head coach Jared Webster, Pierce Sword, Parker Noem, Jacob Brunner, Logan Graf, Brennen Hanes, Josh Wesner, assistant coach Skylair Jaure; in front, Micaiah Grace and Irail Griffin.

The Custer High School wrestlers beat out eight other schools in the area to become the Black Hills Conference champions at the conference meet over the weekend in Hill City. 

The Wildcats achieved a team score 163.5, which was over 13 points ahead of second-place Spearfish. 

Head coach Jared Webster said he had some open spots on the roster due to continuing sickness on the team, but he says “some of our young kids filled in and stepped up and got some points for us. Overall the kids wrestled well.”

Three Custer wrestlers took home first place honors, including Logan Graf in the 106-pound weight class, Chance Grill at 152 and Micaiah Grace at 170. 

Graf pinned Braden Weiss of Hill City in only a 1:13 to win his first place match. Grill won over Jaredon Dosch of Belle Fourche by fall in 5:22 to win first place, and Grace stuck TeeJay Atwood of Hot Springs after a hard-fought 4:27 battle. 

Finishing in second place were Cade Grill at 126, Irail Griffin at 145 and Levi Mines at 160.

Other point getters for the ’Cats included Sterling Sword, who placed third in the 132-pound weight class and Ty Dailey, who finished third in the 195-pound category. Sword won the third place match by pinning Caleb Rickenbach of Hot Springs in 2:24 and Dailey pinned Teygan Werlinger of Spearfish in 2:54 to win his third place victory. 

Coming in fourth in the 113-pound class was Pierce Sword. 

“The thing that hurt us for some open spots was just sickness,” said Webster, “but we should be able to overcome that by region time.”

That time is coming up soon as the Region 4B Tournament is scheduled for Stanley County High School in Ft. Pierre this Saturday. 

Webster says he is looking forward to the event, stating, “Hopefully all the kids are healthy and ready to go.” 

From regionals the top four in each weight class will advance to the Class B State Wrestling Tournament at the Rushmore Plaza Civic Center in Rapid City the following weekend.