Wildcats take first at Custer Invitational

By Ron Burtz

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Micaiah Grace pinned his Douglas High School opponent in 32 seconds in first-round action at the Custer Invitational wrestling tournament on Friday at the Armory. Grace went on to take first place in the 170-pound weight class.

“As a team we did awesome!”

That’s the assessment of Custer assistant wrestling coach Skylair Jaure following his team’s first place victory at the Custer Invitational meet on Friday. 

The tournament was originally scheduled for Friday afternoon and Saturday at the Armory, but organizers packed it all into Friday afternoon and evening because of the snow forecast for Saturday.

“It turned into a one-day tournament just because of the weather,” said Jaure, “but we were able to make sure the kids were guaranteed some good quality matches.”

Jaure says the win is a payoff for the training the wrestlers have put in during the off-season. 

“All the hard work they’ve been putting in over the summer is kind of paying off,” said Jaure, and he says he hopes the team can “keep the train rolling” throughout the rest of the season.

Jaure says the Wildcats had five champions emerge from the tournament, including Chance Grill, who took first place in the 152-pound weight class winning by a 6-5 decision over Colton Jackson of Douglas. 

Jestyn Woodward won all of his matches to take first place honors in the 113-pound weight class. He won the first place match in a 10-2 major decision over Clayton Donovan of Spearfish. 

Senior Levi Mines took first in the 160-pound class, winning by fall over Caleb McGregor of Newell in the first place match in 1:55. 

In the 170-pound weight class Micaiah Grace placed first and scored 26 team points, pinning  Kogen Yamamoto of Red Cloud in 3 minutes 38 seconds.

The final first place finisher for the varsity was Logan Graf in the 106-pound weight class. Graf was participating in his first high school tournament. Graf won by fall over Braden Weiss of Hill City in 47 seconds in the first place match. 

In other varsity action Pierce Sword placed eighth in the 120-pound category, Cade Grill was third at 126, Sam Jackson placed eighth in the 132-pound weight class, Sterling Sword was seventh in the 138 pound class, Brennan Hanes placed fourth in the 138-pound class, Irail Griffin took second in the 145-pound class, Elijah Steele was sixth at 160 pounds, Jarret Woodward third at 182 pounds and Ty Dailey placed third and scored 13 team points in the 195-pound weight class.

On Thursday the Wildcats head down the road to Edgemont for the Custer Quadrangular where they’ll face Newcastle, Wyo., Bennett County and Newell. 

“I think we’ll match up pretty good,” said Jaure, who notes Newcastle appears to be the team to beat.

“They come from Wyoming and they usually bring a pretty tough team,” he said. “I think the key is just trying to match up with them the best we can and come out on top.”

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