Northern Wyoming News - Serving the Big Horn Basin for over 100 years

By Alex Kuhn
Sports Editor 

Kings of the East

Worland fends off Douglas to hoist 2018 3A East regional championship


February 20, 2018


Morgan Tigner gets positioning on Rawlins' Kie Foster in the semifinal match of the 285-pound weight class during the 3A East regional tournament at Worland High School, Saturday afternoon.

WORLAND - It was close but by the end of the 3A East regional wrestling tournament Saturday afternoon at Worland High School, the Worland Warriors stood all alone at the top of the hill.

Maintaining their 14-point lead from the previous day, the Warriors had six wrestlers in the championship round but coasting was not an option for them, because Douglas, who sat in second place, also had six wrestlers in the final round of the tournament.

Making things more interesting between the first- and second-place teams, was two of their championship matches were against one another. In the 126-pound weight class Warrior Daniel Weyrich went against Bearcat Kadin Matthews and in the 220-pound weight class, it was Worland's Alex Beck vs. Douglas' Dawson Stinson.

Thankfully for the Warriors they went 2-0 in those matches, scoring 199 points for the tournament, compared to Douglas' 190. Weyrich had a thrilling come-from-behind victory to earn his first regional championship. Then just when Douglas pulled within one point of Worland at 191-190, Beck, also earning his first regional championship, held off Stinson to secure the team championship for the Warriors.

Senior Morgan Tigner won his championship match in the 285-pound weight class, his second regional championship, giving the Warriors a total of three individual champs.

"I thought our kids came out and wrestled well from start to finish. That's what we expect from them every single time. Some of our younger kids showed up today, you have Lane McBee and Luke Goncalves, were huge factors. Domanic Hartley was only a sophomore and made it to the finals. Those kids came out and gave it all they had, I'm just excited," said WHS wrestling coach Josh Garcia.

The championship round did not disappoint but in a round of top-notch wrestling Weyrich's victory stood out as the match of the round, the day and tournament.

At the end of the first period, Weyrich was down 8-0, yet, for the remaining four minutes of the match, he kept chipping away at that lead.

Matthews was penalized multiple times for stalling, which gave Weyrich more and more points for each stall. But with less than 20 seconds remaining in the third period, he still trailed 8-6. With the Worland faithful cheering louder and getting more anxious with each second that fell off, Weyrich was able to tie the match at 8-all on a takedown in the final seconds.

Having forced an extra period, in which the first wrestler to score wins, and a fired up Worland crowd cheering him on, Weyrich wasted little time taking down Matthews for the 10-8 sudden-death victory.

"He went out there and went straight to his back early on in the first period. It's tough to come back from 5-0, but then we got turned again so we were down even more. But you know, those are things we teach in our room, you're going to have to overcome adversity and that's exactly what he did. That kid tried to stall out on him and Daniel is just a hammer. He did an outstanding job and has a lot of don't quit attitude," said Garcia about Weyrich.

Winning the 3A East championship required the effort of each and every Warrior. Warriors like Luke Goncalves and Lane McBee who lost in the semifinals but rebounded to take third-place in the 145-pound and 160-pound weight classes, respectively.

Other Warriors placers included 106-pound Kein Anderson, seventh; 113-pound Domanic Hartley, second; 120-pound Adam Bankert, second; 132-pound Tristen Lungren, eighth; 138-pound Hayden Johnston, eighth; 170-pound Peyton Woffinden, fourth; 182-pound JR Hofmann, second; 195-pound Cameron Cabarett, eighth; 220-pound Trey Wright, fifth; 285-pound Koby Tigner, fifth.

"Everyone matters and every point matters. We needed everyone to place as high as they possibly could. Today was one of those situations where it paid off in the end and we couldn't ask for a better performance from our kids," said Garcia.

Having closed out the regional tournament with a championship, the Warriors turn their focus toward the 3A State tournament, starting this Friday and ending Saturday, at the Casper Events Center.

The Warriors preparation for state will be to keep things simple and fine-tune their moves as they take aim at bringing home a state championship.

"We're not going to reinvent the wheel. We need to do what we've been doing all year and try to do it a little bit better, a little bit cleaner. Continue to work on our technique and have a real solid week of practice. Then we'll head to Casper and wrestle tough and like we know we can," said Garcia.


Powered by ROAR Online Publication Software from Lions Light Corporation
© Copyright 2019