BOZEMAN – Butte High School has a slim lead over host-team Bozeman after the opening day of the annual Tom LeProwse wrestling tournament. The Bulldogs tallied 106 Day 1 points, compared to the Hawks’ 102.
Two Butte wrestlers advanced to the semifinals of the championship brackets, heavyweight Jeff Queer and 120-pounder Gabe Tierney. Tierney meets Bozeman’s Sterling Quinn for a chance to compete in the championship bout.
Bozeman landed six grapplers in the semis, including 126-pound star Leif Schroeder, a defending state champion. Tayt Rogers (103), Chance McLane (145) and Keegan Mulhill (152) are all in the semifinals of their respective brackets. Jaiden James was listed as a member of the Bozeman junior varsity squad, but will also compete in the semifinals at 120 pounds.
Saturday’s action will see some of Montana’s top wrestlers take the mats, with Helena High’s Isaac Romero and Great Falls High’s Easton Shupe squaring off at 113 pounds. Three-time Class AA state champion Charlie Klepps of Billings Senior meets Bridger Wenzel of Polson in the top half of the 132-pound bracket, while Forsyth’s Nathan Weber and Belgrade’s John Mears battle in the other half.
Colstrip’s Jackson Currier, another returning state champion, goes against Dougie Swanson of Missoula Big Sky at 138 pounds, while one weight up Michael Weber of Forsyth faces Big Sky’s Kyle Gordon. Jace Rhodes captured a title last season for Billings West and is two wins away from the 152-pound championship in the LeProwse.
Great Falls High’s Jordan Komac and Dillon’s Brent Tezak could be on a collision course to meet in the 160-pound finale, but Cody Blaede of Colstrip and Dan Beaudrie of Cody, Wyo. stand in their ways.
The higher weight classes promise equal entertainment, with Billings Senior’s Jarret Leinwand meeting Helena Capital’s Seth Jensen at 205 pounds. The final four in the heavyweight championship bracket are all top-three finishers from a season ago, with Queer and Colstrip’s Merlin Whitedirt defending champions. Billings West’s Levi Malcolm finished runner-up, while Kalispell Flathead’s Michael Lee placed third.
Saturday’s action is slated to begin at 9 a.m. To view individual results and team standings from the Tom LeProwse tournament, please click here.