Wrestling looking to punch more tickets

Gray Hughes

Hill City wrestling sent three athletes to the state tournament last year:  Bradon Weiss, Tanner Davis and Jaxon Johnson, who was an alternate.

This year, they are looking to send more, said head coach Nick Ferguson.

“We have a lot of potential out there,” he said.” We have quite a few seniors out this year who have been with us all four years, so that’s always good help for senior leadership. We’re hoping to punch quite a few tickets this year to the state tournament.”

Ferguson said that in addition to the seniors, the team has quite a few up-and-comers. But he said he is going to be looking for that veteran leadership to help the team out.

This year, there are five seniors, which, Ferguson said, is quite a few for a small school.

“We’re grateful to have that, and there’s some good leadership in the room,” he said.

In addition to the seniors, Ferguson is looking to Weiss to have another stellar season. Weiss, a junior, has qualified for the state tournament each of his prior two years in high school.

Weiss has improved each year, Ferguson said, and he expects Weiss to be a standout.

Johnson, a senior this year, should have a solid season, Ferguson said, who said Johnson has drive to be more than an alternate.

Davis, a junior this year, is a force to be reckoned with, Ferguson said.

“He is going to be great for us,” Ferguson said.

While the team has no offseason program, Ferguson said he encourages his wrestlers to go out for other sports such as football and cross country to prep for the upcoming season. Some of his wrestlers this year, too, did go to some camps, but a lot of their offseason plans had to be scratched due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Ferguson said he wants all of his wrestlers to be well rounded.

In terms of what he and his team are looking forward to this year, Ferguson said the Black Hills Classic, held annually in Hill City, is always circled on his calendar.

“The Black Hills Classic has been an amazing tournament,” he said. “Brings quite a few different families here to town in a time the community really needs it.”

Competing within the Black Hills Conference, too, is always something Ferguson looks forward to.

Another part of the season Ferguson said he’s looking forward to is the Mid Dakota Monster.

This tournament, he said, changed the way it operates this year due to COVID-19. So, this year, the tournament is going to be a two-day dual tournament.

“You go down on a Friday and see some East River teams we never get to see,” Ferguson said. “So that was a really a big bonus there so we don’t have to wrestle the same teams that we see around here. We get to see some different competition.”

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