5 In A Row
February 16, 2022 | View PDF
The Sidney/Fairview wrestling team has capped off their 2021-22 season with a fifth consecutive state title at the Montana State Wrestling tournament last weekend. The Eagles scored an impressive 201.5 points with Havre in second with 147.5 points. Custer County (Miles City) took third with 142 points and Laurel placed fourth with 141.5 points. Top ranked Frenchtown finished fifth with 140 points.
The Sidney/Fairview girls tied Ronan for tenth place. Both Keela Kary (120#) and Amaiya Kirn (126#) made it to the championship. Kary placed second and Kirn won her second consecutive first place finish.
The Eagles boys team's outstanding performance was lead by five state champions. Freshman Reece Graves won his first state title at 113#. Owen Lonski won his third consecutive state title at 126#. At 145#, Zander Dean won his second state title. Zander Burnison placed first at 152#. Last but not least, senior Aden Graves won his fourth consecutive state title at 160#.
Aden Graves is the third wrestler from Sidney to place first at the Montana State Wrestling Tournament four years in a row. He will now join the ranks of wrestling standouts Jessie Obergfell and Gresh Jones as Sidney's four timers.
It hasn't always been easy for the team this year. Three weeks ago they suffered a loss to Frenchtown during the Montana Class A Duals in Lewistown. "It really opened our eyes up. We changed some things and really turned the throttle up and got after it," Coach Guy Melby said. "Our kids responded so well. We could just feel it. During our practices you could hear a dime drop." The team was focused and working hard to prepare for the state tournament. "We beat a lot of guys that beat us earlier," Melby continued.
The team started out the tournament in first place and only extended their lead as the tournament progressed. After the first day of the tournament Sidney led with a score of 93.5 with Havre in second with 88.5.
Coach Guy Melby was confident going into the second day. "I plotted it out that first night and we are going to win this thing by 50," he said. "We came out in the semifinals and we were on fire." The Eagles had eight wrestlers win in the quarterfinals. Six of those wrestlers won in the semifinals to advance to the championship. Sidney/Fairview had five pins in the quarterfinals and five pins in the semifinals. "That's a lot of points. You don't come back from that," stated Melby. The team had nine wins and two losses in the metal rounds for both the girls and boys.
"It feels really good to get back into the Metra and that atmosphere," Melby said. Last year's Class A State tournament was held in Miles City due to Covid. It was exciting but not as exciting as having 15,000 people screaming out loud."
MHSA State Championships Results Sidney/Fairview, Feb. 10-12:
103: Gordan Knapp (45-13) placed 3rd and scored 20.0 team points.
113: Reece Graves (49-3) placed 1st and scored 27.0 team points.
120: Deegan Carranza (26-26) place is unknown and scored 3.0 team points.
126: Owen Lonski (52-5) placed 1st and scored 28.0 team points.
126: Ben Carlsen (39-15) placed 5th and scored 17.0 team points.
132: Kaden Wise (21-20) placed 6th and scored 9.0 team points.
145: Zander Dean (37-6) placed 1st and scored 25.5 team points.
152: Zander Burnison (55-3) placed 1st and scored 28.0 team points.
160: Aden Graves (54-2) placed 1st and scored 29.0 team points.
160: Josh Salz (32-22) place is unknown and scored 2.0 team points.
170: Christian Lassey (8-13) place is unknown and scored 1.0 team points.
170: Grady Nelson (45-12) placed 2nd and scored 22.0 team points.
285: Jesus Gonzalez (12-27) place is unknown and scored 0.0 team points.
Boys Team Scores
1st Place: Sidney/Fairview, 210.5
2nd Place: Havre, 147.5
3rd Place: Custer Co. (Miles City), 142.0
4th Place: Laurel, 141.5
5th Place: Frenchtown, 140.0
6th Place: Ronan, 110.0
7th Place: Park (Livingston), 109.5
8th Place: Columbia Falls, 91.0
9th Place: Libby/Troy, 74.0
10th Place: Hardin, 71.5
113: Liz Langwald (8-27) place is unknown and scored 0.0 team points.
120: Keela Kary (36-5) placed 2nd and scored 27.0 team points.
126: Karen Rosales (16-25) place is unknown and scored 3.0 team points.
126: Amaiya Kirn (47-1) placed 1st and scored 34.0 team points.
Girls Team Scores
1st Place: Flathead Girls, 205.0
2nd Place: Billings Senior Girls, 157.0
3rd Place: Billings Skyview Girls, 115.5
4th Place: Glacier Girls, 90.0
5th Place: Poplar Girls, 88.0
6th Place: Butte Girls, 81.0
7th Place: Gallatin Girls, 71.0
8th Place: Plains/Hot Springs Girls, 69.0
9th Place: Belgrade Girls, 65.0
10th Place: Ronan Girls, 64.0; Sidney Girls, 64.0