It was another week on the road for Jefferson High’s wrestlers, and another strong result: The Panthers placed seventh, their best finish in memory, at the Choteau Classic tournament.
But first, there was a mixer Thursday at Deer Lodge with Anaconda, Butte High JV and East Helena. The Panthers got off to a fast start as Leo Anderson, Christian and Dominick Davis, Eli Reed, John Armstrong, Kaden Johnson, Miles Dodge, Talon DeMers and Matt Riehl took their first-round matches, all but Dominick Davis and Reed by pin.
In the second round found Dominick Davis, Armstrong, Reed, Braeden Jones, Jeyden Sullivan, DeMers, Dakota Dorn and Matt Riehl all won by pin. Also competing for Jefferson was Cody St. Clair and Jace Oxarart.
Then came the bus trip to Choteau for its two-day tournament, featuring 35 Class B and C schools. JHS brought thirteen wrestlers to the event. In the first round, Oxarart at 132 pounds, Johnson at 145 pounds, Dodge at 152 pounds, and Sullivan at 160 pounds were eliminated, while Armstrong and Reed at 138 pounds both won their matches.
JHS came out on fire for the next round: Anderson at 103 pounds, Christian Davis and Dominick Davis at 113 pounds, St. Clair at 120 pounds, Armstrong at 138 pounds, Jones at 160 pounds, Dorn at 182 pounds and Riehl at 205 pounds all won to advance into the quarterfinals. Only Reed was defeated — by his teammate John Armstrong.
Reed lost again in the first consolation round and exited the tournament. Meanwhile, in the quarterfinals, Christian and Dominic Davis were paired up against each other, and Christian came away the winner in overtime. Anderson, St. Clair, Dorn and Riehl also advanced to the semifinals. And in the second consolation round, Armstrong and Jones advanced, ensuring spots in Saturday’s action, while Dominick Davis was eliminated.
Jefferson put together an incredible first day, compiling 64 points to sit in third place. And seven wrestlers moved on to Saturday’s varsity tournament.
But Saturday didn’t go as well for JHS. Armstrong and Jones were eliminated in the opening consolation round, and only Anderson won his semifinal match. Everyone else dropped into the consolation semifinals, where St. Clair and Dorn both won.
In the final medal rounds, Christian Davis and Riehl finished in sixth place while St. Clair and Dorn placed fourth. In the 103-pound final, Anderson confronted a rival from Anaconda who had beaten him on three previous attempts. This time, Anderson turned the tables and won the title by a decisive 8-2 score. JHS ended the tournament with 91 points, good for seventh place.
Leo Anderson was named JHS Panther wrestler of the week once again. In winning the championship, Anderson soundly defeated an opponent who had bested him up to this point – the only BC wrestler to do so this season.
Jace Oxarart was selected as JHS Panther wrestler of the week: after competing with great heart and determination, he was shut out of placing only when he suffered an injury and was forced to withdraw. Kaden Johnson had the JHS Panther quick pin of the week, dispatching his opponent in 15 seconds at the Choteau JV Tourney.
The Panthers have another busy week ahead as they host their final home mixer of the season on Jan. 23. Then it’s on the road again to the Class BC Dual Tournament in Great Falls, Jan. 24-25.