A quartet of Sanders County wrestlers won individual titles at the 10-team annual Ted Kato Invitational held last Saturday at Thompson Falls High School.
The Vanderwall brothers of the fourth-place Plains/Hot Springs squad — senior Josiah and sophomore Conrad — captured the 138-pound and 132-pound crowns, respectively.
Thompson Falls/Noxon freshman Trae Thilmony added another gold medal to his collection, taking the 113-pound title. Teammate Roman Sparks was the 120-pound champion for the fifth-place Bluehawks.
Mission/Charlo made a late charge to claim the team crown, finishing with 112 points. The Flathead junior varsity was runner-up with 107.5 points. Missoula Big Sky JV came in third (101), followed by Plains/Hot Springs (98.5), Thompson Falls/Noxon (92), Clark Fork (82), Missoula Sentinel JV (81), Glacier JV (55), Arlee (48) and Bigfork (25).
Some of the larger schools in the tournament did not bring full squads.
Also for Plains/Hot Springs, Taylor Angle finished second at 103 pounds. Peter Carey (120) and Jesse Uski (160) both earned third place.
Dakota Irvine (182) and Shane Reishus (126) of T-Falls/Noxon were second in their weight class.
“I thought the kids wrestled extremely well,” Plains/Hot Springs head coach Jeff Kujala said. “We took seven (wrestlers to the tourney) and five placed … It’s a good thing the younger kids are improving.”
JOSIAH VANDERWALL, who is 31-2 on the season, was in the third most populated weight class at the Ted Kato Invite, with 10 in the bracket. He won all four of his matches by fall, pinning Colt Crawford of Arlee in 1:42 in the championship match.
Conrad Vanderwall had eight in his bracket. After a bye and two wins by fall, he won by a 15-0 technical fall over Jack Fisher of Flathead.
Angle was pinned by Tony Silveria of Big Sky in 4:26 in the finals.
Carey drew praise from Kujala. “He had a tremendous semifinal match,” the coach said, losing in overtime to Walker Murphy of Mission/Charlo, who won a 4-2 sudden victory with a takedown. Murphy had dominated Carey earlier in the season. “It was a good, tough match. He was really close this time.”
Uski finished his tournament in upbeat style, pinning William Dauwe of Sentinel in a minute-flat to claim third place.
Bert DeTienne (145) and Steven Yother (285) fell short of placing in the top four at the tourney.
The Savage Horsemen might have lost senior 138-pounder Kenzie Angle for the rest of the season. She is going through concussion protocol after being injured the previous weekend in the Choteau Classic.
“Hopefully, we will continue to grow as a team and get more kids involved in the program,” Kujala said. “We’re progressing while we get closer and closer to that divisional tournament.”
That tourney is Saturday, Feb. 2 in Thompson Falls, and will include wrestlers from eight high school programs.
THOMPSON FALLS/NOXON had only five grapplers in action at the Ted Kato Invite. They were without the on-mat presence of 160-pounder Dane Cjobnacky, who broke a hand during his match last Friday in a Bluehawk dual against the Flathead JV.
According to head coach Ian Tyalor, Cjobnacky is out for the season after winning about 70 percent of his matches.
“We’re going to miss him,” Taylor said. “He’s a big part of our team. We have to move on and deal with it.”
There were only three wrestlers in Thilmony’s 113-pound class. He made quick work of Curtis Wiley of Glacier, pinning him in one minute. Thilmony now has a 25-2 season record; it was his fourth tournament title this season.
Sparks improved his record to 25-4 by getting a hard-earned 4-2 decision over Murphy of Mission/Charlo in his title match.
Reishus was pinned by Braden Comer of Flathead in 44 seconds to finish second at 126. Irvine lost by fall to Trey Green of Clark Fork in 3:48 in the 182-pound final. Bluehawk Lucas Anderson was in the most populated class at 145 pounds and did not place.
“We only had five guys (wrestling),” Taylor said, “but we punched four of them into the finals. You can’t ask too much more than that.”
THIS IS the final week of the regular season for Montana high school wrestlers. Plains/Hot Springs was to travel to Eureka for a dual Tuesday (Jan. 22), then compete in a mixer Friday at Arlee (6 p.m. start). The Savage Horsemen host a five- or six-school tournament/mixer Saturday. It’s Senior Day, when Josiah Vanderwall and Kenzie Angle will be honored.
T-Falls/Noxon has a home quad with Florence, Mission/Charlo and Clark Fork coming to town for a 6 p.m. start. The Bluehawks compete in a dual tournament Friday in Whitefish, where 10 schools should be represented.
1st Place - Tony Silveria of Missoula Big Sky
2nd Place - Taylor Angle of Plains/Hot Springs
3rd Place - Drew Kernan of Glacier
4th Place - Tyrel Thomas of Arlee
1st Place - Trae Thilmony of Thompson Falls/Noxon
2nd Place - Curtis Wiley of Glacier
3rd Place - Colton Wieczorek of Flathead
1st Place - Roman Sparks of Thompson Falls/Noxon
2nd Place - Walker Murphy of Mission/Charlo
3rd Place - Peter Carey of Plains/Hot Springs
4th Place - Kyle McCollam of Glacier
1st Place - Braden Comer of Flathead
2nd Place - Shane Reishus of Thompson Falls/Noxon
3rd Place - Brok Viau of Glacier
4th Place - Sean Wyatt of Missoula Sentinel
1st Place - Conrad Vanderwall of Plains/Hot Springs
2nd Place - Jack Fisher of Flathead
3rd Place - Ira Williams of Missoula Sentinel
4th Place - Sarah Schmoker of Missoula Big Sky
1st Place - Josiah Vanderwall of Plains/Hot Springs
2nd Place - Colt Crawford of Arlee
3rd Place - Jesse Horner of Missoula Sentinel
4th Place - Brody Skillicorn of Missoula Big Sky
1st Place - Isaiah Kovalsky of Clark Fork
2nd Place - Darwin Adams of Mission/Charlo
3rd Place - Gabe Riley of Missoula Sentinel
4th Place - Sheldon Woll of Bigfork
1st Place - Isaac DuMontier of Mission/Charlo
2nd Place - Tristen Hauerwas of Missoula Big Sky
3rd Place - Cole Sandberg of Missoula Big Sky
4th Place - Thomas Anderson of Clark Fork
1st Place - Finn Sullivan of Flathead
2nd Place - Demetrix Austin of Arlee
3rd Place - Jesse Uski of Plains/Hot Springs
4th Place - William Dauwe of Missoula Sentinel
1st Place - Isaiah Alik of Mission/Charlo
2nd Place - Josh Smalley of Missoula Big Sky
3rd Place - Troy Matt of Mission/Charlo
4th Place - Gaige Winter of Flathead
1st Place – Trey Green of Clark Fork
2nd Place - Dakota Irvine of Thompson Falls/Noxon
3rd Place - Kristopher Musick of Missoula Sentinel
4th Place - Dawson Cooper of Flathead
1st Place - Miles Anderson of Mission/Charlo
2nd Place - Ross Calhoon of Flathead
1st Place - Caedon Seymour of Glacier
2nd Place - Hunter Shae of Flathead
3rd Place - Jacob Lapinski of Clark Fork
4th Place - Estaban Brahona of Flathead