Chinook's Tyler Schoen brings home another title
Last updated 2/13/2023 at 10:19am
BILLINGS - This past weekend at the Metra in Billings, some of the best high school wrestlers in the state of Montana gathered to compete in the Class B-C State Wrestling tournament. On the big stage, many wrestlers from small schools got the chance to shine.
One wrestler who took advantage of that opportunity was Chinook's Tyler Schoen, who took first place wrestling in the 182-pound weight class. In the championship match, Schoen survived against Jefferson's Brady Armstrong to win in a 3-2 decision and secure his second straight state title to end his high school career.
"It feels great. That was a hell of a match," Schoen said about winning the title. "I won it last year and I worked really hard during the offseason and the season to try to get another one."
"That probably wasn't the performance he wanted but he still got the job done," Chinook head coach Ben Stroh said. "There's a lot of things weighing on him but we went back to his basics like we tell the rest of the kids and got the job done. Nothing fancy, just settle in, do what you need to do and get the W."
Schoen started the tournament with a pin against William Buchanan of Superior. Then in the quarterfinal, Schoen pinned Trysten Robertson from Conrad. In the semifinal, Schoen kept rolling with a pin against Nathan Dunham from Fort Benton. While the tournament started Friday, Schoen's hard work over the past year is what led to another championship.
"Every day, I practiced as hard as I could," Schoen said. "I wrestled both my coaches almost every day and I wrestled the only other senior Lane Snider. We just went hard every day."
With the title, Schoen finished his senior season undefeated with a record of 41-0. As he leaves the program with two state championships, Stroh knows that Schoen leaves behind an example for his younger teammates to follow.
"Just the character of the kid we're talking about, it's unheard of," Stroh said. "I hope these kids pay attention and learn something from him because he's a dream person to have on your team."
While Schoen had a strong end to the year, Chinook finished 15th as a team with 43.0 total points in the tournament. Huntley Project won the Class B-C State Tournament with 201.0 total points. Three Forks finished second with 154.5 total points while Eureka took third with 122.0 total points.
Schoen was not alone for Chinook as Snider took fifth at 145 pounds. He started the tournament with a pin against Wesley Biggers from Whitehall. In back-to-back consolation matches, Snider pinned Jack Cornwell from Glasgow and Lucas Kovalsky from Superior. In the fifth-place match, Snider ended his career with a 6-4 decision over Jace Oxarart from Jefferson.
Another Hi-Line school, Fort Benton, placed 14th in the tournament with 44.0 total points. At 113 pounds, Trevor O'Hara finished fourth for the Longhorns. He opened the weekend with a quick pin against Cole Standley from Cascade. Then in the quarterfinal, O'Hara won a 10-4 decision against Blaine VanDyke from Conrad. In the consolation semifinal, O'Hara quickly pinned Wyatt Nelson from Colstrip.
Dunham also took fourth for the Longhorns as he wrestled at 182 pounds. In his first match, Dunham quickly pinned Whitehall's Ethan Wock. In the quarterfinal, Dunham pinned Walker Spurlock from Broadview. After a loss, Dunham pinned Conrad's Tegan Jones in a consolation match.
Big Sandy finished 23rd in the tournament with 24.0 total points. Quinn Rodewald had an impressive run as an eighth grader as he finished second at 103 pounds. He started the tournament with a pin against Elijah Kennerson from Cascade. Rodewald then earned a 16-3 major decision over Colin Hickman from Lincoln County. In the semifinal, Rodewald won a 7-4 decision against Brummie Boggus from Three Forks.
Also at the Metra this past weekend was the Girls State Wrestling Tournament which several Hi-Line schools also competed in. One school was Harlem, which placed 24th with 33.0 total points thanks to the performances of several wrestlers.
Amilia Blackcrow finished fourth at 165 pounds for the Wildcats. She started the tournament with a pin against Kali Dulin from Baker. Then in the quarterfinal, she pinned Venessa Wheeler from Polson. In a consolation match, Blackcrow quickly pinned Celia Jaeger from Billings Senior.
At 126 pounds, Kaitlyn Johnson finished sixth for the Wildcats. She started the weekend with a 9-0 major decision over Allie Murphy from Belgrade. In her first consolation match, Johnson won a 12-2 major decision over Malorey Lawrence from Florence-Carlton. In another consolation match, Johnson pinned Savannah Riggin from Chester-Joplin-Inverness.
The Big Sandy girls wrestling team was represented by Haney LaBuda, who finished third at 107 pounds. She started her run with a pin against Jessie LaPier from Butte. She then pinned Ava Krings from Conrad. In the consolation semifinal, Labuda won a 4-2 decision against Brinly Youso from Flathead. Labuda ended the weekend in the third-place match where she pinned Krings again.
CJI finished 31st in the girls tournament with 26.0 total points while Big Sandy finished 37th with 26.0 total points. Chinook came in right behind with 21.0 total points and Fort Benton scored 14.0 total points in the girls tournament.