Eureka ready to defend B-C mat title

Print Article

At this time last year, Eureka entered the state tournament as the outsider and the underdog, having never won a state wrestling championship.

This time around, the target is squarely on the Lions’ backs as they enter this weekend’s state tournament in Billings as the state’s top-ranked team and the defending Class B-C state champions.

Whereas the goal last season was to capture that elusive first title, the objective this year is perhaps the only thing more difficult — to retain it.

Even so, Eureka coach Danny Lemer believes his team of 11 state qualifiers, down from 13 in 2017, is more than capable of doing just that.

“I feel we’re going to contend for a state title,” he said. “That’s their expectation. It’s kind of the standard at Eureka lately to be at the state championship level.”

Garrett Graves will seek to lead Eureka to another state title and add to his already storied legacy.

The Montana Griz signee boasts two football championships, the wrestling team championship and an individual wrestling title to this point, and he’s the favorite to bring home the 182-pound title again this year.

If he can do so, he’ll cap off his second straight undefeated season. He enters the state tournament 31-0 on the season and 149-21 in his career.

The last Eureka wrestler to win back-to-back state titles was Peter Schmidt in 1996-97.

If the Lions are to capture another team title, however, they’ll need major contributions from others, as well.

Senior Jonathan Schmidt lost his first match of the year at 160 in the divisional tournament but, like Graves, still enters the state tournament among the favorites to win an individual championship.

Schmidt finished second last year down in 138.

Eureka also possesses plenty of firepower in the lower weights.

Nathan Schmidt, a 120-pounder, is 36-5 this season after finishing fourth in the state last year as a freshman.

Hank Dunn, another sophomore at 132, was also fourth in the state last season and enters with a 21-5 record.

Freshmen Gunnar Smith (113) and Kyle Durden (120) are 34-6 and 26-5, respectively.

“It’s a different team than last year in the regard that we’re not too big, but we’re still full of a lot of talent,” Lemer said. “The guys, they want to keep that bar up high and keep that title.”

Mat action begins at the Billings MetraPark at 10:20 a.m. today.

All matches will be broadcast on NFHS Network, which can be accessed through mhsa.org.

Eureka State Lineup

113 — Gunnar Smith, Freshman, 34-6

120 — Nathan Schmidt, Sophomore, 36-5 4th at state 2017

120 — Kyle Durden, Freshman, 26-5

132 — Hank Dunn, Sophomore, 21-5 4th at state 2017

138 — Chance Muller, Sophomore, 27-18

145 — Isaac Petz, Senior, 21-15

152 — James Fehr, Junior, 14-6

152 — Nathan Cargill, Junior, 18-15

160 — Jonathan Schmidt, Senior, 32-1 2nd at state 2017

182 — Garrett Graves, Senior, 31-0 1st at state 2017

285 — Sam Johnson, Senior, 22-11

Print Article

Read More Local Sports

Trophy case addition?

November 13, 2018 at 6:00 am | Daily Inter Lake Braves looking for first state football championship since 1970 By DAVID LESNICK The Daily Inter Lake Flathead (9-3) is one victory away from claiming its first state high school football champi...

Comments

Read More

Carroll coach retires after 20 seasons, 6 national titles

AP

November 12, 2018 at 2:06 pm | HELENA, Mont. (AP) — Carroll College football coach Mike Van Diest announced his retirement Monday after 20 seasons and six NAIA national championships. Van Diest's teams posted a 203-54 record duri...

Comments

Read More

Capital claims AA state volleyball title

November 10, 2018 at 6:00 am | Daily Inter Lake BOZEMAN – Helena Capital defeated Bozeman 23-25, 25-19, 25-22, 27-25 to claim the Class AA state volleyball title on Saturday at Brick Breeden Fieldhouse. Bozeman beat Flathead in the fourth-place...

Comments

Read More

Big 2nd quarter pushes Fairfield past Bigfork, 48-14

November 10, 2018 at 6:00 am | Daily Inter Lake The Daily Inter Lake FAIRFIELD — A 36-point second quarter allowed Fairfield to blow by Bigfork for a 48-14 semifinal victory in the Class B football playoffs on Saturday afternoon. Bigfork (9-...

Comments

Read More

Contact Us

News: (406) 837-5131
Advertising: 406-758-4410
Bigfork Eagle
c/o Daily Inter Lake
PO Box 7610
Kalispell, MT 59904

©2018 Bigfork Eagle Terms of Use Privacy Policy
X
X