The Cowboy wrestling team from Custer County District High School had a bit of a rough year last year, and look to be in rebuilding mode again this year.
"We have a young team," Cowboys Head Coach Jon Harris said. "We have just one returning state placer, Torrey Watts. And I expect good things out of him and to repeat his performance. My heavyweight, Cord Murray, he took first in Sidney and he's looking pretty good. I'm expecting good things out of him, I think he has good possibilities of placing at state if he stays healthy."
The Cowboys opened their season last weekend in Sidney, where they placed 10th in the team standings. Murray took the heavyweight championship, while Watts was third at 126, Wyatt Smith was fifth at 145 pounds and Bryan Brush and Alex Bradford were each sixth at 160 and heavyweight, respectively.
Last year the Cowboys sent just three wrestlers to the state meet and only one earned All-State honors. The Cowboys return two of those wrestlers. Watts, as a freshmen, placed fifth at 105 pounds at the state meet. Peyton Negethon qualified at 98 pounds as a freshmen, but lost his first two matches.
The Cowboys have just two seniors on their roster, Sergio Salcido and Lance Myran, and five juniors, Brandon Blumhagen, Smith, Austin Donnelly, Brush and Rudy Luttrell.
The rest of the roster is a mix of sophomores and freshmen.
"It's going to be rebuilding for awhile," Harris said. "We have so many open spots for the classes. It's tough to fill all of those. But I think there's a lot of kids that are looking into wrestling."
While expectations aren't very high for this season, the Cowboys look to have some strong younger wrestlers for the future.
"Ethan Schaff, the 106 pounder, Peyton Negathon (113) will be right in there," Harris said. "Josh Sundgren, he's looking pretty good for a sophomore. We have some kids that have been working hard and improved a lot from last year. And then add in Torrey and Cord and a kid at 220, Caid Dickman who's not bad as a freshmen. He'll hold his own at the heavier weight."
The Cowboys will have to contend with a loaded Sidney team that is not only the favorite in the Eastern A, but a favorite in the Class A. They were second at the state tournament last year.
"Sidney has a lot of kids, lot of returning state placers," Harris said. "So they'll be the team to beat. Everyone else lost their seniors, so they're all about the same position and then Sidney is above everyone. They have such a good program going on there."
Athlete Weight Year
Ethan Schaff 106 9
Peyton Negethon 113 10
Torrey Watts 10 120
Haven Meged 126 10
Brandon Blumhagen 132 11
Wyatt Smith 138 11
Sergio Salcido 145 12
Jacob Schmidt 145 9
Austin Donnelly 152 11
Bryan Brush 160 11
Seth Hostman 160 9
Josh Sundgren 170 10
Lane Giovanetti 170 10
Lance Myran 195 12
Caid Dickman 220 9
Rudy Luttrell 220 11
Cord Murray 285 10
Alex Bradford 285 9
Eli Beach 285 9
Head Caoch: Jon Harris
Assistant Coaches: Kyle Pryor, Rod Parks
Managers: Nicole Richardson, Kaci Anderson, Hailey Kope, Katie Funkhouser