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

By Alex Kuhn
Sports Editor 

Warriors sit second after first day of 3A State wrestling tourney

Bankert, Beck, Goncalves and Tigner to wrestle for championships tonight


February 24, 2018

Alex Kuhn

Worland's Alex Beck goes for the pin against Pinedale's Kadar Criddle in the semifinals of the 220-pound weight class during the 3A State tournament at the Casper Events Center Friday night.

CASPER - All season long the Worland Warriors have talked about finishing strong. They did it during the regular season, at the 3A East regional wrestling tournament and now, on the last day of the season, have a chance to close it out on the biggest stage.

At the end of Friday the Warriors sit in second place with 121 points at the 3A state tournament in Casper. They trail Star Valley by 63 points with four wrestlers in the championship matches and have strong positioning on the wrestle-backs to push the Braves for a state title.

"Overall I'm extremely proud of our kids at the end of the first day. They've come out and wrestled hard. We knew we were going to have to wrestle hard and we have. Luke Goncalves to make the finals as a freshman and to upset the No. 1-seed on the other side of the region is good for us and the program," said WHS wrestling coach Josh Garcia.

Wrestling for individual state championships tonight for the Warriors are 120-pound Adam Bankert, 145-pound Luke Goncalves, 195-pound Alex Beck and 285-pound Morgan Tigner.

The Warriors had six total wrestlers in the semifinal matches, sophomores 113-pound Domanic Hartley and 126-pound Daniel Weyrich were both defeated in their matches.

"I'm proud of Domanic and Daniel too, they wrestled very well and I know they're going to come back with a vengeance [today]," said Garcia.

Trailing Star Valley by 60-plus points and with Cody, 113 points, and Powell, 100, nipping at their heels, Day Two of the state tournament could prove to be a tough day for Worland. But with the number of quality wrestlers left in the consolation round the Warriors have the potential to make a serious run for the team championship.

"We need Domanic Hartley, Lane McBee, JR Hofmann, Peyton Woffinden, Tristen Lungren and the rest to wrestle hard. We have some great firepower on the backside. I'm a firm believer that the State tournament is won and can be won on the second day," Garcia said.

He added, "Those blood rounds are going to be huge for us and those rounds to get into placing matches are huge. They can pick up a lot of points and that's exactly what we want. Those kids will have to wrestle four matches to try and take third and if you place seven or eight guys in those matches, that's 80-90 points that are out there that we can go get," said Garcia.

The 3A State tournament resumes again today at 9 a.m. with the championship matches starting at 5:15 p.m.

On the final day of the season, it will come down to one thing for the Warriors.

"We want to come out hungry and excited. Getting four out of six is amazing and I'm really excited for our team, now we need to finish strong," said Garcia.


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