Feb 20, 2014 - By Bruce Tippets, Sports EditorAfter dealing with several injuries during the regular season, the Riverton Wolverines are aiming to put forth their best effort on the wrestling mats at the regional and state tournaments.
The postseason for the Wolverines starts Friday and Saturday at the Class 4-A West regional at Casper Natrona.
Early round matches and the quarterfinals of the double-elimination tournament make up the first day. The championship matches are Saturday.
Teams in the tournament are Evanston, Green River, Kelly Walsh, Natrona, Riverton and Rock Springs.
"The regular season was full of ups and downs," RHS coach Jay Galey said. "With as young as we are, that was to be expected. The things that we didn't expect were the injuries that we had to deal with. It has really limited their mat time. I think that they have all come a long way.
"We tell the young guys that this is what the year is all about," Galey said.
Gavin Wilson has been bothered by a injured shoulder for a couple of weeks.
Wilson was forced to pull out of the Ron Thon Memorial Invitational two weeks ago, and he was out of the lineup in Riverton's loss to Lander.
Wilson is planning on returning at 120 pounds for the regional tournament.
"We are going to wrestle him just enough to qualify him for the state tournament," Galey said. "It has been pretty unfortunate for him with it being his senior year. He went through a couple of bad injuries for whatever reason. The thing that hurts the most is that he put in a lot of time in the summer."
The top eight wrestlers in each weight bracket make the state tournament.
"Gavin has worked hard to get to this point," Galey said. "At the same time, if we can get him to the state tournament, then he will be one of those guys that nobody will want to wrestle in the first round."
At 152 pounds, Tyler Allen is one of the top wrestlers this year for the Wolverines.
"Tyler ended the year last year really strong," Galey said.
Allen placed second in the 2013 regional tournament.
"My expectation for him is at least that good for the regional" this year, Galey said.
Reece Prosser is another RHS wrestler expected to place high in Casper in the 170-pound division.
"Reece is not the most athletic kid on the planet, but he is as tough as anybody," Galey said. "The thing that you have to like about him is that he just grinds is out. Reece never stops."
Galey thinks Michael Menzies should have a good regional tournament.
Menzies will be in at 120 pounds with Wilson.
"Menzies can be as tough as anybody when he gets it going," Galey said.
Chris Holcomb has provided good moments at 195 pounds.
Riverton wrestlers Kyle Page and Hank Osborne have suffered season-ending injuries.
Page tore his ACL during the Laramie dual right before the Ron Thon.
On the next day, Riverton lost Osborne to an injury at the Ron Thon.
Wyatt Wichelhaus will be left out of the regional tournament at 220 pounds because of sickness.
Green River has the most powerful team in the Class 4-A West division this year.
"Green River has some tough kids scattered throughout its lineup. They have some depth to go along with those guys."
Second place is up for the taking between Evanston, and Casper Kelly Walsh.
"We will see how it plays out," Galey said.
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