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Braves wrestling set sights on the season’s last two weekends.

Braves wrestling set sights on the season’s last two weekends.

The Braves wrestlers made short work of the Evanston Red Devils in the final regular season action of the season with a 54-15 duel victory on the road.

“Any time you can beat a team like Evanston you feel pretty good about it,” stated head coach Eddie Clark. “We’re looking pretty good. It was a good way to bounce back from the Ron Thon. Some of our kids were able to bounce back.”

The Devils won the first match at 220 pounds by pin and led early 6-0 before Star Valley scored the next 27 points over the next five matches to lead 27-6. Evanston picked up another pin at 132 pounds to trim the score to 27-12 but the Braves rattled off wins in six of the last seven matches for the final tally.

The team now turns its focus to the 3A West Regional Tournament slated to take place at Pinedale High School this Friday & Saturday. Four-time defending state 3A champion Powell and Star Valley will likely be battling for top honors and favorable seedings ahead of the 3A state tournament in Casper on February 26 & 27. The Braves will be one of the favorites with event titles in Rexburg and Lander this year as well as a duel victory over Green River. Powell finished ten points in front of Star Valley at the Ron Thon Memorial in Riverton on February 5-6.

Clark believes that the next two weekends could be intense and that it will be the grapplers who may not be necessarily competing for a championship that will be the difference in the team race. “Once again it’s our depth against their strength,” he said “They are going to put several kids in the finals but its the weights that we don’t have finalist that will be the tale this weekend. Who gets cancelled out more, us or Powell?”

• Star Valley Braves: 54 Evanston Red Devils: 15

220: Connor Martin (EHS) over McCabe Smith (SV) – Fall

285: Bryan Guzman (SV) over Kevin Golding (EHS) – Fall

106: Spencer Angell (SV) over Chase Clark (EHS) Tech. Fall 17-2

113: Gavin Patterson (SV) won by forfeit

120: Tyson Hoopes (SV) won by forfeit

126: Dan Waldron (SV) over Sam Lester (EHS) Maj. Dec. 13-4

132: Tucker Leland (EHS) over Landon Hirschi (SV) – Fall

138: Brandon Claye (SV) over Zach Brinkerhoff (EHS) – Fall

145: Brigg Hoopes (SV) over Malek Wagstaff (EHS) – Fall

152: Trevor LaRose (SV) over Isaiah Sowers (EHS) Dec. 7-4

160: Griffen Mitchell (EHS) over Brandon Kunz(SV) Dec. 12-11

170: Sam Semadeni (SV) over Gavin Simmons (EHS) Dec. 7-4

182: Jason Walker (SV) over Dylan Skaggs (EHS) Dec. 4-2

195: Erickson Vicente-Garcia (SV) over Blake Overy (EHS) – Fall

• SVHS Regional Team 

106: Spencer Angell & Logan Hoopes

113: Gavin Patterson & Nathan Hirschi

120: Dane Waldron & Tyson Hoopes

126: Jaden Clark &  Alec Erickson

132: Trevor Clark & Landon Hirschi

138: Brandon Claye & Carter Hill

145: Brigg Hoopes & Nic Robinson

152: Trevor LaRose & Bridger VanDeburg

160: Brandon Kunz & Matt Hunting

170: Dylan Brog & Luke Anderson

182: Jason Walker & Samuel Semadeni

195: Erickson Vicente-Garcia

220: McCabe Smith & Hunter Cranney

285: Bryan Guzman &  Kylan Townsend

• A Precursor of Success? 

The 3A West Regional Championship has usually been a good omen in the past decade to state success. Six times in the last eight years the 3A West champion has claimed the 3A state championship. Powell did so in 2015, 2014 and 2012 as well as 2009 and 2008. Worland won it all in 2011 while Douglas was the lone 3A East team to win in that time frame. Star Valley’s title in 2013 ultimately was a state runner-up finish the following weekend.

The question of “what if” comes up as well with Star Valley winning the 4A West Regional crown in 2011, 2010 and 2008, placing as the 4A runner-up all three years. The Braves also won the 3A West seven times from 2001-2007.

“I honestly don’t think there is a team in the East with the overall strength to bump off Powell or us this year,” Clark concluded. “Unless the wheels come off of course. This year as a whole; it looks like a two-team race unless somebody has something up their sleeve that we don’t know about.”

Recent 3A West Champs: 

2015: Powell (248.0)

2014: Powell (241.0)

2013: Star Valley (265.0)

2012: Powell (255.0)

2011: Worland (251.5)*

2010: Powell (308.5)**

2009: Powell (272.5)

2008: Powell (251.0) ***

(* S.V. won 4A West 218.0)

(** S.V. won 4A West 237.0)

(*** S.V. won 4A West 230.0)

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Braves wrestling set sights on the season’s last two weekends.

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