HELENA -- The Butte Bulldogs stayed stout Friday night in Helena, recording wins over Helena Capital and Helena High, 45-18 and 66-6, respectively.
For Bulldogs head coach Cory Johnston, effort is the key for him and, in his eyes, his wrestlers gave it their all.
"We tell our kids, the main thing we're looking for is that they're accountable for their efforts and we had fantastic efforts (Friday)," said Johnston. "We're not going to win every match, but if we lose the match, we want to go down fighting. We want to go down shooting in the match that we didn't win. That's what we did. In the matches that we won, we did well."
With the changes to the winter sports schedule, wrestlers aren't competing in tournaments to open the season and Johnston thinks the lack of tournaments has left his wrestlers fresher as they start the season.
"Definitely. The way our schedule works on a normal year basis, it's kind of a meat grinder," he said. "We go from one big tournament to the next. This is kind of a nice way to work into it."
The Helena Capital Bruins opened their night with a loss to the Bulldogs. Following the dual, Bruins head coach Jeff Mahana said the team has work to do, but he still has high hopes that his wrestlers will peak at the right time.
"It's going to be a development piece, just for the fact that half my varsity lineup has got less than two years of experience. It's not an excuse, we've got to get better and we got to learn through position. And it really does not matter where we start this season, it matters how we're going to end up and finish up in March, you know?" said Mahana. "Unfortunately for us, we'd be built to be a pretty good tournament team. I got four or five really bright stars, and I got a lot of other guys that are still figuring this thing out."
The Bruins and the Bengals both nabbed wins over the Missoula Hellgate Knights, 59-10 and 56-16, respectively.
The Bulldogs move to 3-0 on the season, the Bruins to 2-1, the Bengals to 1-2, and the Knights to 0-3 after the night's proceedings.
The Bulldogs' and the Knights' next tests come against Kalispell Flathead and Glacier on Friday. The Bruins and the Bengals will head to Missoula to take on the Sentinel Spartans and Big Sky Eagles on Friday.