Phillips County News - One Nation, Under God

By Pierre Bibbs
Sports Editor 

Malta sending seven grapplers to state tourney in Billings Friday


February 11, 2015

The Malta wrestling team not only placed seven wrestlers in the 2015 State B and C Wrestling Tournament, the team placed fourth in the Northern B and C Divisional Tournament as well.

“They wrestled really well again,” Coach Ryan LaBrie said. “We may have given up a couple of spots but we placed where we thought we should.”

The State B and C tourney will be held in Billings, MT this Friday and Saturday at the MetraPark Arena.

Trey Simanton, a 113 pound freshman and 120 pound sophomore Kaden Moore led the charge for Malta, placing first in their respective classes.

Simanton grabbed his first place finish by pinning Shelby’s Barrett Hansen in only :26.

Moore grabbed his first top finish of the season by pinning Shelby’s Brodey White in 5:40.

Chase Murray had an excellent outing as well, placing second in the 182 pound class.

Murray lost the championship match to Conrad’s Hunter Mycke by pinfall in :36.

Antonio Lopez took home third place after defeating Cut Bank’s Jaiden Little Dog in a high scoring 18-15 decision match.

Mark Missildine placed third in the 103 class.

Ceaton Mears punched his ticket, placing third in the 132. He defeated Cooper Dailey in the Third Place match by pinfall at 3:54.

Keenan Schipman placed fourth in the 138 weight class. He lost the Third Place match to Valier’s Wacey Running Crane, by pinfall in 3:15.

Coach LaBrie noted that both 152 pounders Derek Peigneux and Travis Epperson fought hard in their matches, however they weren’t able to place at the meet.

“They wrestled their butts off,” he said. “It’s kind of a heartbreaker.”

He said Travis’ match was one of his best matches of the season. He made it to the end but lost in a decision.

Peigneux nearly pinned his opponent, but overworked the attempt and got caught in a pin.

For a few of Malta’s grapplers this isn’t their first time competing in the State B and C Tournament.

Murray, a junior, is one of those grapplers.

“I felt a lot better than I did last year and should go a little bit further,” Murray told the PCN.

Last year Murray wrestled in the 170 class and this year he made state in the 182 class.

He missed most of the season due to unrelated circumstances.

“It feels good to come back, get into some of the bigger tournaments and get back into shape for state,” Murray said.

Murray admits that missing so much of the year set him back and many of his opponents are beating him off the line, but he knows what he needs to do to improve his game to catch up.

“I think I just need to keep my mind into it. Stay on top of things and let opponents think they can beat me,” he said.

Like Murray, Keenan Schipman is making his second state appearance.

As a freshman last season Schipman wrestled in the 126 class.

This season he has been wrestling in the 138 pound class, which is a little tougher because it is a class that boasts more wrestlers.

“I feel a lot more confident and have a little bit more of an idea of what’s going on,” he said. “I know it’s going to be pretty tough. I’m just going to try my best.”

He knows he needs to improve and practicing hard will be his focus as the tournament approaches.

The team has many athletes with similar weight classes. Schipman is in his tenth year wrestling and his experience has been crucial to many of the middle weight grapplers on the team.

“I’m just trying to help make my teammates better from 132-145,” he said.

As far as highlights in the year, Schipman admitted he didn’t have a favorite moment but the year has been pretty fun and it’s been a good year with a good team.

Day one in the State B and C tournament is set to start at 10 a.m. on Friday.


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