GREAT FALLS — The Glasgow wrestling team returned to the mat this week coming off the program's first team State B championship since 2010.
The Scotties return three individual state champions: seniors Dylan Nieskens, Colten Fast, and Cooper Larson. Nieskens and Fast will be looking for their third individual titles, while Larson looks for his second.
Those three, combined with senior heavyweight Mayson Phipps, create a strong nucleus for the 17 Scotties that went out this year. Juniors Damian and Devon Nesbitt, who were originally from Glasgow and transferred back this year after some time in Baker, will provide further strength for Glasgow.
Although head coach Jory Casterline said COVID-19 will bring some challenges to the season, his team still has its sights set on being Class B champions again.
"As wrestling people, we pride ourselves in dealing with adversity," he said. "That's one thing that we talk about with our kids all the time. You know, that's kind of how life goes. Life isn't fair. And that's kind of how we're approaching this right now."
With no competition until the calendar flips to 2021, Glasgow is really focusing on basics for now.
"We're taken approach where this first two weeks we're just kind of treating it as a preseason a little bit," Casterline said. "You know, where we're focusing on some technique, obviously, conditioning, but we're keeping it light. We're keeping it fun."
After that, Glasgow has a relatively full schedule planned, and Casterline thinks his squad can be ready by the time state rolls around. He mentioned that the altered COVID-19 type of season that teams will deal with isn't entirely without precedent. This season won't feature large tournaments with numerous teams, and instead small duals and triangulars will fill the schedule.
"It really reminds me a lot of back when we were a Class A school back in the 80s, early 90s, when you did have a lot of duals, and there weren't a lot of tournaments," he said.
Casterline said the difference will be trying to have his team at peak performance by state when they compete in far fewer matches throughout the year.
"You're not going to get the the 40, 45-some matches that some guys might see, or 50 matches in a year, because some guys might come to the state tournament with 18 matches. And that's that's how it was in the 80s."