CASPER – Lingle-Fort Laramie’s Zane Rising took third at 138 pounds at the 2A State Tournament in Casper this past weekend and was one of two Doggers to win at least two matches.
“We maybe did not all finish the way we had hoped, but I felt that they all battled and have themselves a chance to win matches,” coach Brandon Gifford said. “That is all you can ask as a coach.”
Rising opened up his weekend by pinning Big Piney’s Ethan Long in the first period, followed by a 9-7 decision win over Wes Teichert (Cokeville). In the semi-final, Rising was bested in an 8-1 decision against Parker Seeley (Moorcroft).
Rising kicked off Saturday in the consolation semi’s, where he went the distance, winning a 7-4 decision over Felipe Gaytan (Greybull). In the third-place match, Rising picked up the pin in the second period against Glenrock’s Brysen Collier.
“I was extremely proud of Zane,” Gifford said. “He wrestled very well and surprised a lot of people. He works hard and deserves every bit of his success.”
At 126 pounds, Gaven Niles had the second-best finish for the Doggers, falling one win short of placing. He started the weekend by pinning Wind River’s Zach Smith in the first period, before falling at the 5:59-mark in the quarterfinals against Colter Julian (Kemmerer). In the lower bracket, Niles beat Moorcroft’s Charmayne DeLong by a 14-2 decision, before falling in the third round of the wrestle-backs by pin in the second period against Asher Nicholson (Lovell).
“Wrestling can be a cruel sport in one regard – while I am so happy for Zane, I am also heartbroken for Gaven,” Gifford said. “There are many ups and downs in the sport of wrestling. Gaven had a good tournament but just couldn’t get it done the last match.”
Jessy Valentine (220) suffered an opening loss by fall to Lovell’s Coy Trainor, before receiving a bye in the lower bracket. Braeden Lucas (Shoshoni) got the better of Valentine by pin in the second period.
Dustin Swartwood joined Rising at 138 pounds, but did not have as much success. He lost his opening match by pin in the first period against Moorcroft’s Seeley. In the lower bracket, Swartwood went the distance in his second match, but lost in a 6-0 decision against Brendan Miller (Kemmerer).
As a team, the Doggers notched 24 points, putting them 18th in the team race, just behind Greybull (28) and Shoshoni (29). Moorcroft won the team title at 2A with 273 team points. Glenrock (193.5) and Cokeville (169) rounded out the top-three teams.
“Overall, I felt we had a good tournament and our effort was where it needed to be for us to attempt to accomplish our goals,” Gifford said. “I am excited for the future and cannot wait to start our summer preparation and get ready for next season already.”