BOZEMAN — The Montana High School Association held its first-ever girls wrestling state tournament this past weekend, which featured 148 different wrestlers. Bozeman Gallatin’s Lily Schultz was one of 11 to win a state title, forever etching her name in the Raptor history books.
“It was super cool," Schultz said. "It was really unreal and kind of shocking. I was just kind of surprised. It was awesome.”
Schultz has been a force to reckon with since starting her wrestling career three years ago. She grew up competing in judo and transitioned to the wrestling mats her freshman year.
This past weekend she wrestled in the 145-pound class at state, pinning her opponent in the first period, garnering not only her first state championship but the school’s as well.
“It’s really cool because it’s kind of a once-in-a-lifetime thing," Schultz explained. "It’s something that nobody can ever take from you. You’re No. 1 for the school. It felt pretty awesome.”
Schultz wasn’t the only Raptor who put on a show at the state tournament. Maria Matosich placed second in her weight class to help Gallatin place sixth overall as a team.
“I’m going to be honest, I really wanted first place, but there’s next year," Matosich chuckled. "Now I know what I need to work on. It's good to be humbled sometimes.”
This past season was Matosich's first time ever stepping onto the wrestling mat. However, she’s always had an interest in the sport.
“My older brother, AJ, actually started wrestling sophomore year, and I watched him do it through the school and I was like, 'Man, I really want to do that,'" Matosich explained. "I wish they had a girls division, so I was always really interested. I didn’t have the opportunity to do it until this year, so that was really awesome.”
With the addition of a girls division, she finally was able to wrestle this past season, joining Schultz on the mats.
"I couldn’t have done this without her," Matosich added. "She’s always been there for me, and she’s just always pushing me to be better. She’s crazy good, and I’m so glad we get to build this community.”
Schultz said her mind is already set toward another state championship next season but also wants to use her success as an inspiration to younger girls.
“I kind of get to help create the culture and everything and set a good example for all the other little girls who want to wrestle," Schultz said. "I hope that from this year being the first one that a lot of little girls saw that and are starting to get into it.”