’Cats dominate Custer Quad, Graf wins in Rapid City

Ron Burtz
The Custer High School Wrestling team continued its winning ways last week with decisive victories over all three of the opposing teams at the Custer Quad held at the Armory Thursday. 
In team scoring, the Wildcats rolled over Newcastle-Upton, Wyo., 45 to 21, crushed Newell 69-6 and flattened Bennett County 62-12. 
“The kids came out ready to wrestle and so we were very pleased with that,” said head coach Jared Webster. 
In the dual with Newcastle-Upton, sophomore Logan Graf, wrestling at 106, pinned Caleb Hossfeld in 1:19, Pierce Sword (120) defeated Cael Holmes by fall in 2:51 and in the 126 pound class, Mikael Grace pinned Jory McFarland in 5:26. 
In that same dual, Parker Noem defeated Jonathan Morgan in a 4-1 decision, Jonathan Lewis (138) pinned Isabella Spencer in a mere 20 seconds, Brennan Hanes won over Holden McConkey in a 3-2 decision and in the 152-pound class Irail Griffin won a 10-9 decision over Kale Corley. 
Dossen Elmore (170) and Micaiah Grace (182) both won their matches by forfeit.
In the Custer/Newell dual, Graf was again victorious, pinning Blaise McGregor in just 22 seconds. Dylan Beaver, in the 113 pound category, won by forfeit and Pierce Sword also won by forfeit. Mikael Grace pinned Patrick Hamling in 2:56, Noem won a 5-2 decision over Garret Winkler and Lewis pinned Mick King in 3:23. 
In other matches against Newell, Hanes, Griffin, Elijah Steele (160), Elmore, Micaiah Grace and Nick Herman (220) all won by default. 
In the third dual of the evening against Bennett County, it was Noem defeating fourth-ranked Damon DuBray by fall in 1:45, Lewis winning a sudden victory over Jared Harris, Hanes winning over Ty Allen by 20-4 technical fall in 4:46 and Griffin pinning Mason Heath in 4:18. 
In other matches, Micaiah Grace pinned Ridge Ward in 1:51, Weston Woodward defeated Elijah Johnson by fall in 2:50 and Herman pinned Christian Jessop, needing only half a minute to get the job done. 
In that dual, Graf, Beaver, Pierce Sword and Mikael Grace all won by default. 
After his three victories at the Custer Quad (two by fall and one by default) Graf went on to win first place in his weight class at the Rapid City Invitational last Friday and Saturday at the Rushmore Plaza Civic Center. 
After securing a first-round victory over Creedon Newell of Worland, Wyo., in which he pinned Newell in 1:08, Graf went on to pin his next two opponents in 1:43 and 1:32. In the quarterfinals Graf won over Jesse Thompson of Bismarck Legacy, N.D., by 16-1 technical fall in 1:45. 
In the first-place match, Graf won an 11-4 decision over Jack Schoenhard of Rapid City Stevens. 
The only other Wildcat wrestler to place in the tournament was Micaiah Grace. Grace came in fourth in the 170 pound weight class. 
Webster says Grace lost only two matches in the semifinals and had “an excellent match in the semifinals” with a wrestler from Rapid City Central who is a state champion. 
“It came down to the last 15 seconds of the match and he got taken down,” said Webster.  
Overall, however, Webster says he wasn’t happy with the outcome of the Rapid City Invite especially because of the team’s poor performance in a critical elimination round. 
“I was disappointed with one of our rounds that was a blood round,” said Webster, “where I believe we should have had six kids place...You place there, you’re placing at state pretty much. There’s no reason we shouldn’t have won all four of those matches. Instead we got beat. That’s gotta change.”
“We’ve got to fix that,” said Webster. “It’s a good thing it happened now so we get it changed by the end of the year.”
At practice on Monday Webster took his first step in correcting the problem by taking a few moments to sit the entire team down for a talk. Addressing each wrestler by his weight class, Webster spoke to the problems he saw in each’s performance at the invite and pointed out areas for improvement. 
Webster said later he hopes Graf can be an inspiration for the entire team and hopes other wrestlers will emulate Graf’s intensity and will to win. 
“Logan’s just a solid kid who loves the sport of wrestling,” said Webster. “If we could get that in every one of our kids’ heads—wanting to score every second,” Webster said the team would all be in the winner’s circle.
“That’s our goal at the end of the year is to be looking to score every second that we can,” said Webster.
The Wildcat wrestlers won’t get much of a rest before a short Christmas break. On Thursday they travel to Lead-Deadwood for a triangular which also includes Belle Fourche. Then on Saturday the team heads south for the Hot Springs Invite which begins at 9 a.m. 
After Christmas, Webster says some team members will be on the road again, this time heading for North Dakota. 
“We just picked up another tournament some kids will go to in Fargo after Christmas,” said Webster.  

User login