Seamands, Thompson lead way in Moorcroft

File photo
Preston Seamands wraps up a Belle Fourche wrestler during the Christmas Duals Invite held at Wright Junior/Senior High School last month. 

Eddie Poe

The Wright Panthers wrestling team got a healthy dose of Moorcroft last week, both on their home mats and on the road.
While Thursday’s dual meeting was a one-sided affair with the Wolves claiming a 48-13 victory, mainly because of three open weight classes for the Panthers, the Moorcroft Mixer on Friday and Saturday shaped up to be a solid weekend of wrestling for the black and gold.
Preston Seamands (23-2) kept his season of dominance going in the right direction with a third-place showing at 120 pounds. A new name on the scene for the Panthers was Charlee Thomson (17-8), who took fourth at 152. Phoenix Buske (16-2) also took fourth at 220 and Ethan Zancanella (12-11) claimed fifth at 195 to help lead Wright to a 10th place finish out of 19 teams with 75 points.
Although the Panthers continue to battle a slew of injuries and sickness as the season charges toward February, head coach Larry Yeradi was fairly pleased with his team’s effort. He was especially pleased with Thomson, one of a handful of freshman wrestlers on the team this year for Yeradi.
“Charlee had a few pretty good matches,” Yeradi said. “He beat the Lovell guy (Mizek McArthur) with a pin and beat Kyle Breen (Tongue River) in a revenge match. It was a big victory for him and will really help with his seeding for the regional tournament.”
For many freshmen, adjusting to the high school wrestling scene can often take time and patience. It also doesn’t come without a fair share of aches and pains along the way.
But according to Yeradi, Thomson is beginning to come into his own on the mat and is starting to realize what he needs to do to succeed at the high school level.
Another wrestler that caught the eye of Yeradi in Moorcroft was sophomore Ethan Zancanella. Zancanella continues to find his way into the placing rounds and brought home fifth at 195.
“He’s learning to wrestle quicker and is using his quickness to his advantage,” Yeradi said of Zancanella. “He has good feet out on the mat and that’s something we’ve been trying to emphasize with him.”
Wrestling at 285 in Thursday’s home dual with Moorcroft, Buske battled Parker Schlater in a dramatic duel that saw Schlater receive an unsportsmanlike penalty. For those in attendance in Wright, Yeradi said the two wrestlers put on a noteworthy performance.
On Saturday, Buske won a quarterfinal matchup with Dade Greene of Greybull/Riverside, pinning him at the 2:39 mark. He went on to drop the semifinal match against Trey Yates of Colstrip, by 9-2 decision, but rebounded in the consolation semifinal with a quick win over Jasper Caldera of Lusk. His weekend concluded with a loss in the third-place match to Evan Hehr of Spearfish, but his fourth-place finish was well earned.
Coming into the weekend as one of Wright’s top wrestlers, Seamands lost just one match, a semifinal loss to Nathaniel Boreen of Greybull/Riverside. He’s been one of the Panthers’ most consistent wrestlers this season and is poised to make another run at the state tournament this year.
As for Wright’s season as a whole, they aren’t hiding from the fact that they’re young, but they’re confident that things are heading in the right direction.
“We’re on the right track with our technique and the things that we’re doing in practice,” Yeradi said. “We have some injuries and sickness that we’re working through, but we’re improving mentally.”


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