The MatCats were on the road for another grueling trip last week as they picked up a win in Dillon Thursday before going 3-3 at the Mining City Duals in Butte Friday and Saturday.
For head coach Jessie Schaeffer and his young MatCat squad, the weekend was a chance to gain valuable experience while taking on quality opponents.
“There were some matches that we wrestled well and there were some that we kinda laid down for,” Schaeffer said. “It can be hard to watch that, but we just aren’t at the point yet where we can battle some of those tough kids right now. Our kids want to and in their mind they think they can, but we are just outgunned sometimes right now.”
The Cats went 3-3 in Butte, defeating Havre 39-35, Helena 42-30 and Fergus 48-30 and falling to Billings Senior 60-12, Glacier 48-21 and Sentinel 42-36.
Lucas Thacker and Tommy Phelps had strong showings in Butte, where Thacker went 4-1 picking up four victories via pin and Phelps pinned three of his opponents to go 3-1. Josh Bertram also had three wins via pin for the Cats in Butte. Individual results for the Fergus dual were not available.
The Cats went 17-34 (not counting forfeits) against Havre, Helena, Fergus, Billings Senior, Glacier and Sentinel, picking up 13 wins via pin.
Sachaeffer said there were some bright spots, but overall there is still a lot of work to be done by his MatCats squad.
“We had nine duals, so getting warmed up and cooled down between matches can be tough. We had some kids who were not quite ready when they took the mat, but that is part of the learning process,” he said. “We have kids that work on wrestling two or three months out of the year going up against kids that are wrestling eight months or more. Those are going to be tough matches to win. Those tough matches are the ones where we want to battle. There is no pressure on us to win and we have the chance to go out and make something happen.”
The MatCats will have another long road trip in their last matches before the new year as they travel to face Browning and Whitefish in Browning Thursday before wrestling at the CMR Holiday Invitational in Great Falls Friday and Saturday.