By BENJAMIN KIBBEY
The Western News
Going into the all-class state wrestling tournament in Billings today and Saturday, Libby High School Head Coach Kelly Morford has high expectations for the 12 wrestlers going through to the next level.
He said he was pleased to have 12 of his 14 wrestlers from the divisional tournament going on to Billings, and praised the team’s performance.
“For the most part, we took care of business and won the key matches on the first day,” he said.
Still, Morford said the team could have set themselves up more favorably going into state.
“I thought we gave up some placings that we shouldn’t have on Saturday. I think we took a breath and relaxed a little too much after we qualified for state,” he said.
“Giving up a few of those spots has made our first round of state a lot tougher but we will have to just be ready for the challenge,” he said.
Junior Buddy Doolin led the team, taking first place in the 113 pound bracket, which Morford said was key to the positioning they wanted for him as he eyes another state championship.
Doolin wrestled smart at the divisional tournment, and Morford hopes he keeps that going, he said.
“There are some tough kids in his bracket and he is going to have to wrestle tough to get back into the finals,” Morford said.
Placing second in the 120-pound bracket, sophomore Dillon Yeadon could make a deep run at state as well, Morford said.
“If he wrestles his best, I wouldn’t be surprised to see him In the finals. It is a tall order and he will need to be dialed in, but it is definitely in his reach,” he said.
Morford also noted freshman Zack Morrison (120) and sophomore Trey Thompson (132) for how hard they competed at the divisional tournament.
“They both competed their tails off and I think they are going to have a good weekend,” he said.
“Hopefully we have some kids that can go surprise some people and make a run this weekend,” Morford said. “I look forward to seeing some great things out of our boys at state.”