The regular season flew by, and now local prep wrestlers will put all their hard work and dedication to the test.
On Saturday, wrestlers from Harlem, Chinook, Big Sandy and Chester/J-I will gather with the rest of the Northern B-C Di
vision in Chester in an attempt to qualify for the Class B-C state tournament next weekend in Billings.
Saturday’s Northern B-C Divisional will feature some quality teams, including third-ranked Cut Bank and fifth-ranked Harlem from the Class B side, as well as top-ranked Chinook, third-ranked Fort Benton and fifth-ranked Big Sandy from the Class C schools.
For area teams like Harlem and Chinook, which have enough depth to try and capture the team title, Saturday will be an intense and trying day.
“This is a big weekend coming up, it sets the tone for the next weekend down in Billings,” Harlem head coach Lyle Faulkinberry said. “If we go over to Chester and wrestle the way that we know how and take all of the knowledge and training that we have put in and put it to work on the mats we should come out just fine. We must show up and be ready for any challenge that lies ahead of us this weekend.”
Faulkinberry sees the divisional tournament as a four-team race between his Wildcats, Cut Bank, Conrad and Chinook. But key individual spots in the state tournament are also up for grabs. Only the top four placers at the divisional tournament advance to Billings next week.
Harlem has the top seeds at both 112 and 1125 pounds. Shay Snider will battle Cut Bank’s Kylan Berkram at 112 pounds, both this week and next, while Teague Jones is a heavy favorite at 125. Chinook’s Jake Norby should also be a factor at 112 pounds, while Sugarbeeters sophomore Donovan Moon is one of the favorites this weekend at 98 pounds.
Harlem also has top-notch contenders in Seth Adams at 215 pounds and Gus Taylor at 119., while Big Sandy’s Lane Martin leads the Pioneers at 171 pounds. Martin is currently ranked third in the state at that weight and is having an outstanding season.
But perhaps the biggest battle Saturday will come at the heavyweight division where four of the top B-C wrestlers will duke it out. C/J-I’s Shalon Norick is ranked No. 2 in the state, while right behind him is a rival from Shelby. Cut Bank’s Che’ Little Dog is ranked fifth, while Harlem’s Trent Noel is also a standout.
Saturday’s Northern B-C Divisional wrestling tournament will run all day in Chester. The top four placers in each weight class will move on to the Class B-C state tournament next Friday-Saturday in Billings.