The Columbia Falls wrestling squad downed Glacier High School in a thrilling home dual that came down to the last match Tuesday (Jan. 14). With the score tied 33 apiece, 138-pound MatCat junior Jaxon Heinz was tied with Ricardo Hewitt 7-7 in the last round with 1:20 remaining.
Heinz and Hewitt were knotted up and exhausted. Hewitt got a takedown and was up 9-7 when Heinz made a series of moves to score 5 points with just 20 seconds left to win the match 12-9, as time expired.
The crowd erupted into cheers as the Wildcats won the dual, 36-33.
Heinz’s match wasn’t the only thriller. Freshman MatCat Justin Windauer won his match against Cody Frost at 120 pounds, coming back from being down 7-5 with a takedown to tie it as time expired in regulation.
Windauer then got a takedown in extra time to win 9-7.
The dual reminded folks of years past, when cross-valley schools squared off against each other on a weekly basis.
“The crowd was loud and it was exciting,” said coach Jessie Schaeffer. “It made for a fun night.”
The young Wildcat squad — they have just one senior in DJ Laycock — continues to improve every week.
The season started out with the wrestlers losing those close matches, but now they’re learning how to hang in there and turn them around, Schaeffer said.
“They go out believing they can win,” Schaeffer said. “And that’s exciting.”
Over the weekend, the squad competed in the Jug Beck Rocky Mountain Classic in Missoula. Windauer pinned Johnathan Williams of Corvallis to take fourth in the consolation final. Josh Bertram took seventh, pinning Kaelan Patten of Bozeman.
The MatCats took 17th as a team.
This weekend they travel to the class A duals tournament in Livingston and then wrap up the regular season close to home at the Whitefish duals on Jan. 31.
The divisional tournament follows the next weekend in Ronan and then it’s onto state in Billings the following week.
Columbia Falls 36, Glacier 33
103 Josh Melton, G. pin Dale Blickhan; 113 Teegan Vasquez, G. pin Josiah Gilman; 120 Justin Windauer, CF, dec (9-7). Cody Frost; 126 Orion Barta, CF pin Hunter Magnes; 132, Lance Fretwell, G., dec (4-0) Ty Allen; 138, Jaxon Heinz, CF, dec. (12-9), Ricardo Hewitt; 145 Isaac Balla, CF, pin Brock Viau; 152, Lucas Thacker, CF, pin Royce Conklin; 160, Caden Gilmond, G., pin Jordan Knapton; 170, Josh Bertram, CF, pin, Kael Willis; 182, DJ Laycock, CF, pin Thomas Crofts; 205, Caedon Seymour, G, pin Cole Karlin; Heavyweight, Camryn Vergeront, G, pin Thomas Phelps.