Illness, injury and athletes in quarantine have taken a toll on the Cody wrestling team in recent weeks.
The Broncs traveled to Worland and Lander last week and wrestled six duals.
“The good news is we are still wrestling,” coach Trev Wood said. “The bad news is it has been difficult to put together a full roster. There were more athletes in the practice room last Friday, though, so we are almost back to a full roster. Now we just need to wrestle with more patience and awareness.”
On Thursday, the Broncs traveled to Worland to take on Powell, Lovell and the host team. The Broncs fell to Lovell 42-36, Powell 38-36 and Worland 66-15.
“It’s been tough on the team having so many injuries and COVID absences, but we are getting most of them back, which is good,” Keaton Stone said. “To stay competitive we’ve just got to attack from the start of our matches, not go for big moves that put us in bad positions and just wrestle smart.”
In the dual with Lovell, both teams were open at various weights, but in head-to-head matches, Kale Mickelson (145) pinned Landon Marchant in 4:58, Brady Deming (152) pinned Aden Nicholson in 2:37 and Stone (182) pinned Casen Hiser in 24 seconds.
“I had a slow start, but I got to where I can throw my mean cross-face cradle and pinned him in the first period,” Mickelson said.
Against Powell, Taylor Baggs (106) won by fall over Trey Freeman, Deming (152) pinned Caleb Cruz in 40 seconds, Jackson Wood (160) pinned Merced Jordan-Silva in 29 seconds, Stone (182) pinned Lannon Brazelton in 31 seconds, Zac Barton (220) won by fall over Clayton Emmett in 54 seconds and Danny Becker (275) pinned Nevan McDonald in 1:47.
Cody picked up three wins against the Warriors. Will Thomasson (170) defeated Josh Rose 8-7, Stone (182) pinned Ralph Moreno in 1:23 and Becker (275) pinned Koby Tigner in 1:19.
“My best match in Worland was against Ralph Moreno because he put up a little bit of a fight,” Stone said.
In Lander on Saturday the Broncs lost to Laramie 47-36, Douglas 54-30 and Worland 72-12. Wood said it has been difficult making the switch to all duals this season.
“During tournaments there are more consequences for losing,” he said. “Right now every varsity wrestler is guaranteed six matches over the course of two days, but during tournaments, those matches are not guaranteed. If you lose twice, you become a spectator. The punishment for not wrestling well is not wrestling. So, I think the urgency to win is a little lost this year.
“We are rushing moves and placing ourselves in bad positions, match ending positions. I am not too concerned because we believe in these guys. We need to adapt and move on.”
In matches wrestled against Laramie, Mickelson (145) defeated Brock Baily in 1:09, Stone (182) pinned Caelum Murray in 51 seconds and Collin Linderman pinned Adam Beavais in 18 seconds.
“I think the best team dual was against Laramie,” Mickelson said. “We did pretty well against good 4A competition. We had a good portion of our team back and had some good matches.”
Against Douglas, Mickelson (145) pinned Bradon Borman in 5:41, Stone (182) pinned Kenai Beuquest in 29 seconds, Lindemann won by fall over T.K. Stinson in 2:27 and Jonas Mickelson (220) pinned Kolby Parker in 48 seconds.
“My best match would be against Douglas,” Kale Mickelson said. “I went all three periods and pinned him with the cross-face cradle.”
Facing the Warriors the second time during the weekend, Micah Grant (132) pinned Kyle Anderson in 56 seconds and Stone pinned Issac Rose in 23 seconds.
“It felt really good to win all six of my matches,” Stone said. “I didn’t wrestle any really good kids, but a win is a win and it helps my confidence.”
In JV matches, Dylan Campbell (152) earned two pins against Douglas opponents as did Barrett George (160). Ben Seibert (152) and Thomasson (160) also earned pins.
Campbell (152) also had two wins against Worland, as did Kale Mickelson (145). Thomasson (170) and Barton (220) also pinned their opponents.
“It feels great to go undefeated – just a boost for my confidence as a wrestler,” Campbell said. “I think the main thing I did that helped me win my matches was listening to coach before and after each match and having him give me advice. My best match was probably my second one because I ran everything right and I got a chance to try new moves building my confidence with trying and succeeding at moves I usually don’t run.”