Maybe the biggest challenge to the wrestling season for Jackson so far has simply been keeping bodies healthy and in the lineup.
That was certainly the case over the weekend, when the Broncs took five wrestlers into Idaho for a Friday dual and a Saturday tournament.
Jackson fell in its dual with Grace, Idaho, on Friday, 70-6. The tournament in Bear Lake, Idaho, though the roster was thin, saw a couple of grapplers come back with positive results as the season presses on with or without some of the top Broncs.
Jace Warsinske, Jackson’s 113-pounder, came back from Idaho with a runner-up finish on Saturday. Warsinske ran to the finals with back-to-back second-period pins and met Star Valley’s Jacob Guild in the final.
Guild took the title with a second-period pin over Warsinske.
“[Guild] is a top three wrestler in the state,” Jackson co-head coach Ryan Castagno said. “We just got outhorsed. One is more mature physically, and it showed in that match.”
Even so, it means back-to-back tournaments where Warsinske has wrestled in the final. At Kemmerer before Christmas the lightweight wrestler was champion after recording a pair of pins.
For Castagno it’s his first-year co-head coach Adam Orton that he believes is responsible in large part for the improvement from Warsinske.
“He’s doing good with Coach Orton,” Castagno said. “His style of wrestling is translating really well for him. He’s picking up what Orton does in practice, paying attention. It has been good.”
Two of Jackson’s most formidable varsity wrestlers, Henry Hershock and Sadler Smith, were out of action this week. That left Tipton Wilson as the only other Bronc to place, finishing fourth in the 126-pound bracket.
That bracket was among the largest in Bear Lake, with 16 wrestlers. Wilson went 4-2, including two pinfalls, before falling in the third place match to Bear Lake’s Traeden McPherson, who had defeated him in the second round of the tournament as well. In the consolation final, a head injury forced Wilson to take the loss.
The team will expect a beefier roster when it heads to Shoshone this weekend for a dual tournament.
“This tournament was not the hardest tournament of the year,” Castagno said of Bear Lake. “But it was a good barometer to see where we are right now.”