The curtain-raiser for the 2017-18 wrestling season went up on Saturday in Capital High’s Bears’ Den as the Bruins hosted the 14th annual Capital City Duals.
Defending State champion Flathead and Butte High both went 3-0 in the seven-team round-robin event in Capital’s Bears’ Den.
The Braves defeated Missoula Big Sky 36-24, Helena High 60-18 and host Capital 39-27, while Butte took the measure of the Bruins 44-25, Bozeman JV 61-12 and Helena 59-18.
HHS posted a 1-2 mark, edging Glacier 37-36. The Bruins were 0-3, being shaded by the Wolfpack 39-36 in addition to losses to Flathead and Butte.
Glacier and Big Sky were both 2-1.
Posting unbeaten 3-0 records for CHS on opening day were senior Travis Schulte at 152, junior 205-pounder Seth Jensen, and freshman Noah Kovick at 132, all by way of pin; junior Lee Lambrecht at 138, with two pins and a major decision; and junior Cole Bradford at 145. Bradford is a transfer from Kansas.
“We have a lot of green wrestlers, but I’m really pleased with how scrappy everybody was,” CHS coach Jeff Mahana said. “They all competed hard, and we had a lot of outstanding efforts today.”
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Mahana pointed out that Kovick stapled all three of his foes in the first period, “a great start for a freshman,” and that another frosh, Keaton Pouliot at 182, “battled hard and saved giving up points.”
Bengals going undefeated on the day were junior defending State champion Isaac Romero at 113, with two pins and decision; and senior 126-pounder Austin Murphy and junior Devin Crawford, with three pins apiece.
“We are fairly inexperienced at a lot of weights, so it will be a process,” said HHS skipper John Burke. "But I saw some guys go out today in their first varsity matches and show a lot of guts and battle hard … so if we keep that mentality we’ll be fine.
“Our veterans gave us a lot of pins points. As for a highlight, against Glacier junior Isaac Reinstadler at 205 pulled out his first varsity win, and that sealed the (one-point) win for us. So that was a big win for Isaac.”