BOULDER — It was a Class B wrestling extravaganza Jefferson High Mixer style in cold and snowy Boulder on Thursday, and the Panthers grapplers proceeded to shine for the hometown fans.
The JHS Mixer attracted four other Class B teams, including Anaconda, Deer Lodge, Three Forks, and Elkhorn area rival Townsend.
There were about 70 matches held simultaneously on two mats — each grappler competed twice — officiated by two veteran referees, both of whom with more than 20 years experience at the All-Class State Tournament.
The Panthers produced 10 undefeated grapplers with two pins apiece, consisting of Nick Workman at 205 pounds, Emma Brown at 103, Christian Davis at 103, Dominick Davis at 103, Cody St. Clair at 120, Jacob Travis at 138, Nate Brunett at 160, Asher Oliver at 170, Matthew Travis at 170, and Dakota Dorn at 205. Two other JHS teammates were 2-0, including Michael Mitchell (120) and Joe Pagnana (182), while heavyweight Nathan Rasch stuck his lone opponent.
"We wrestled really good," said JHS coach Troy Humphrey, whose grapplers went 33-8 overall. "I told the guys and gals before the match to protect the house and honor the seniors, and they all did just that."
Townsend, which was competing without five starters due to injuries or illness, posted three unbeaten matmen, including Justin Denton at 182 pounds, Easton Held at 126, and Kameron Rauser at 152. The Bulldogs trio posted two pins each.
Workman pinned Jadon Lamb (Townsend) in 2:33 and Cole Chatriand (Townsend) in 17 seconds.
Against Lamb, he lost a first period takedown, before reversing the Bulldogs wrestler in the second period and getting the pin.
"The reversal was just a lot of scrambling, and I turned him over with a half Nelson, grabbed his wrist and sucked it up, and then got chest to chest for the pin," said Workman, who improved to 18-5 on the year with 16 pins.
Brown pinned her foes in 29 seconds and 5:41. The two wins kept her above .500 at 12-9 and lifted her pin total to eight.
"I've pretty much hung my success on the pin, I usually don't win by points," said the 5-foot-2, 97-pound Jefferson freshman, who is usually outweighed by 5-6 pounds every match. And oftentimes more if the guys are cutting weight to get to 103. "I usually turn them over with a half."
The personable Brown described how she has to rely on her "speed and technique" in order to "beat the boys," due to their superior upper body strength.
Denton's pins came against JHS' Derek Nygaard (2:27) and Drake Schacke (3:11), coming from behind both times. He trailed Nygaard 5-0 after the first period, when the Panthers matman took him down with a head and arm, and Denton had to fight the pin for more than a minute.
Against his good friend Schacke, the Bulldogs grappler trailed 2-1 heading into the second. He then pulled a takedown to go ahead 3-2, before turning Schacke over for the pin.
"I'm a defensive wrestler, so I got the takedown on a bad shot," Denton said. "And all of my pins have been lucky, because I just wait for them to get too far on their side and then take advantage of the opportunity.
"Drake and I are good friends, we compete against each other in three sports — football, wrestling and track — and sadly he's my opponent on the mats."
Broadwater coach John O'Dell said that his team was "really flat, overall tonight. But everybody still wrestled with a lot of heart. We'll be back."