It’s Senior Night at Star Valley High School as the Braves get to wrestle one more time on the home mat and under the light. It should be an extremely competitive dual as the Green River Wolves are in town, the reigning 3A state champs and a prime contender to repeat.
Junior Varsity begins at 5 p.m. with the varsity scheduled for 6 p.m. SVI encourages residents to head to the main gym and support the wrestlers, but if you are not able or have family that would like to watch, we have you covered.
• Braves poised for strong finish with 2nd place at Ron Thon
By Dahl Erickson
With a team total of 168.0 including a pair of open weight classes, the Braves put up a fight on their way to a second-place finish at the Ron Thon Memorial in Riverton this past weekend. Thunder Basin took the top spot with 173.5. Green River was third with 153.5.
Coach Eddie Clark praised the team’s output.
“The effort level stood out to me,” he said. “Our kids fought hard. We lost some matches because of some things we need to work on, but not because of effort. They battled super hard. That was great. The matches we lost we were fighting hard to the end.”
Levi Byrd, a returning state champion, can now add Ron Thon champ to his list of accomplishments as he claimed the 113-pound basket. Kimball (106) and Tel (132) Parry both placed second. Porter Merritt (150) was third and Caleb Morrison (126) placed fifth.
In addition, both Maxwell Jirak (120) and Kolbe Merritt (138) won their brackets in the JV tournament.
Clark pointed out Byrd’s improvement at the same tournament. “He didn’t have a great tournament last year. This weekend we wrestled to win. The Humes kid who pinned him at the dual; we turned that around which is super exciting.”
Just like that, the tournament portion of the wrestling season is done with just a pair of duals separating Star Valley from the 4A West Regionals on February 17, at Kelly Walsh. The first of those duals is this Thursday as the Braves host Green River on Senior Night starting at 5 p.m.
“That’s going to be a great dual,” Clark added.” Green River might very well win the 3A team title. And next week with Evanston; they might be a dark horse for the state title. We don’t match up particularly well with them.”
The output combined with the tournaments and results have the team believing in the staff that they have a shot at the 4A team title in Casper at the end of February.
“A lot of growth still needs to occur,” Clark said. “The speed and intensity goes up another level for some of these kids making the transition from JV to varsity. But you can see that we’re growing and building and the improvement week to week; it’s happening. The kids have bought in and they see that we have a chance. It will be exciting.”
Clark also pointed out the many changes the wrestlers will undergo now that the Ron Thon is completed.
“There will be a lot of changing weight classes and such,” he added. “Some injuries that are coming to light, it’s going to be madness out there. Wrestling fans will notice kids will change weights all over the place.”
Ron Thon Boys
Thunder Basin 173.5
Star Valley 168.0
Green River 153.5
Natrona County 126.0
Rock Springs 124.5
Ron Thon Boys
106: Kimball Parry – 2nd
113: Levi Byrd – 1st
126: Caleb Morrison – 5th
132: Tel Parry – 2nd
150: Porter Merritt – 3rd
Ron Thon Boys JV
120: Maxwell Jirak – 1st
138: Kolbe Merritt – 1st
138: Darrell Hunting – 4th
150: Hazen Hess – 3rd