Apr 7, 2014 - By Bruce Tippets, Sports EditorTony Truempler has seen the good, the bad and the ugly in his five years as the head wrestling coach for the Shoshoni Wranglers.
This year definitely was in the good category as Shoshoni finished in third place at the Class 2-A state wrestling tournament.
Truempler is the 2014 Fremont County Coach of the Year. Members of The Ranger and Lander Journal sports staff voted on the award.
In his time as coach, participation has skyrocketed in the SHS wrestling room.
When Truempler took over the program, he had only three wrestlers.
"The numbers have improved," Truempler said. "I had to start over and build a program from the ground up."
Truempler said working hand-in-hand with SHS middle school program has been a positive step.
"Wrestling is a hard sport to understand," Truempler said. "Just getting the knowledge and educating the wrestlers early has helped. It's also helps that we have a great middle school program in place. The big thing is your communication is huge. That is when we started to make the strides."
The seniors this year lifted the team into the top half of the division.
"The seniors came to practice and strive to do better," Truempler said.
Danny Huxtable has been with Truempler for all four years. Tyler Clemetson was a three-year wrestler for the Wranglers.
Clemetson played basketball his freshman season before making the transition.
"Tyler is just a born leader," Truempler said. "What he lost in a year, he made up for in hard work and dedication."
J.J. Crichton came out for wrestling for the first time in his junior year.
Crichton finished second this year in his weight class at the state tournament.
"J.J. got a little taste last year of success," Truempler said. "Then he just kind of ran with it, and he loved it."
Alex Minge rounded out the senior group. Minge had injuries his first two years but excelled when he was healthy.
"He has been the workhorse for us," Truempler said. "When he was injured, he didn't take time off."
Truempler's son, Conner Wilkinson, capped off the season by winning the state championship at 120 pounds.
Wilkinson ended up 46-6 in his sophomore season.
"It was awesome to see him win it," Truempler said. "He was the first state championship that I coached."
Wilkinson had won several tournaments before state.
"He had his eye on the prize," Truempler said. "That meant the world to him. He puts hours and hours into wrestling."
Wilkinson won the title beating a Moorcroft wrestler.
"We lost to the same kid at the Ron Thon by a point," Truempler said. "That fueled his fire."
Moorcroft, Cokeville and Shoshoni entered the state tournament with the depth to challenge for the No. 1 position.
Moorcroft outlasted the first to win the title. Cokeville finished second, and Shoshoni came in third to bring home a trophy.
"We were in the top two in a lot of tournaments," Truempler said. "We ran into Cokeville at the Don Runner (tournament), and they beat us by 18 points."
Despite have the departing seniors, Truempler believes the Wranglers will continue to be in the mix of the 2-A race.
"We can't replace the seniors," Truempler said.
"They were great leaders."
The numbers are going to help SHS in dual matches against 2-A opponents.
"We have four good juniors who will be seniors," Truempler said, referring to Galen LaGois, J.D. Yeager, Trinity Nitchman and Matt Dillon.
"We are filled out with seniors."
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