Dec 5, 2013 - By Bruce Tippets, Sports EditorShoshoni is ranked No. 4 in Class 2-A preseason polling.
The Shoshoni High School Wranglers made excellent strides last year, placing fifth at the Class 2-A state wrestling tournament.
Coach Tony Truempler returns his entire lineup this year from last season as SHS continues up the ladder in the wrestling ranks.
The first test for the Wranglers is Friday and Saturday at the Powell Invitational.
Shoshoni enters the No. 4 in the state in the preseason rankings.
Moorcroft is the top-ranked team. Cokeville is No. 2.
Riverside/Greybull is slated No. 3.
"The expectations are pretty high," Truempler said. "We finished just out of placing at state. We are excited about this year. "
Wright is No. 5 followed by Saratoga at No. 6.
Danny Huxtable is ranked No. 2 in the preseason ranking at 126 pounds. Taylor Chapin from Kemmerer is No. 1 in the weight class.
"It should be an interesting battle all year," Truempler said.
"Danny won several tournaments last year."
Tyler Clemetson battled injuries last year late in the season. He'll start at 138 pounds.
"He didn't have the state tournament he should have had," Truempler said. "He is healthy this year. We are expecting good things out of him."
Alex Minge will wrestle at 170 pounds.
"His confidence is much better," Truempler said. "He is coming off a great football season. It's looking like it will roll over into wrestling season real nice."
J.J. Crichton will got at either 152 pounds or 160.
"He played two years of basketball," Truempler said. "I stole him last year. He had a lot of ground to make up last year. He has picked up where we were last year."
Those four are the senior leaders for the Wranglers.
"They are huge to the program," Truempler said. "I have watched them now since they started in middle school. It's like having four other coaches with me. It's nice to have that leadership on the team. They have had that role for the last two years. "
Junior Galen LaGois is planning to wrestle heavyweight for the Wranglers. He took fifth last year at the state tournament.
"He is coming on pretty good," Truempler said. "He is a lot more aggressive this year."
Sophomore Patrick Forester is ranked No. 1 in Class 2-A at 220 pounds.
"Patrick came on real strong for us last year," Truempler said. "There is a big improvement."
Connor Wilkinson placed second last year at the state tournament at 113 pounds. This year Wilkinson will move up 120 pounds.
"He is just too big for 113 pounds," Truempler said. Junior Trinity Nitchman is ranked No. 2 in the preseason in the 106-pound weight class.
"All the wrestlers are so dedicated," Truempler said.
Shoshoni will be one of 21 teams opening the season at the Powell tournament.
The field includes Buffalo, Gillette junior varsity, Cody, Dubois, Greybull/Riverside, Casper Kelly Walsh, Lander, Lovell, Casper Natrona, Powell, Rawlins, Rocky Mountain, Sheridan, Thermopolis, Wind River, Worland and Wyoming Indian.
The Montana teams are Colstrip, Columbus and Livingston.
"The bigger schools are at the Powell tournament," Truempler said.
SHS host a dual tournament on Friday, Dec. 13, and Saturday, Dec. 14.
The Wranglers are expecting 12 teams for the tournament.
"We usually have 10 to 12 teams every year," Truempler said.
SHS completes early schedule on Saturday, Dec. 21, with a dual tournament in Wright.
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