MISSOULA – This past weekend, the Jug Beck Rocky Mountain Classic wrestling tournament provided an opportunity for many local kids to prove their places against some of the best wrestlers before the state tournament in February.
On Saturday, two Frenchtown Broncs ended up atop the podium in their respective weight classes. In the 113-pound class, Walker Dyer won by way of major decision, beating his opponent 14-2. And in the 120-pound class, two-time state champ Jake Bibler won a decision 6-2.
Although the numbers say otherwise, both wrestlers say the matches were a challenge.
“I didn’t really know the kid going into it, didn’t know what he was going to do, so my game plan was just to go out and wrestle, just do what I do,” said Dyer.
“It was a pretty tough match. I had to wrestle him pretty smart, because he’s obviously pretty good. He is a two-timer, and so yeah, I just had to be smart with my moves,” said Bibler.
Don’t let that fool you. Both Bibler and Dyer may not talk much, but they don’t mince words when it comes to their confidence on the mat.
“I mean, I pinned everybody before that kid, so it’s been a pretty good tournament. And going into that, it was a little bit hard going into the third and not pinning him, but I still stayed on top. It was good,” said Dyer, the undefeated junior.
“It makes me feel pretty good about the state. I think I should do well. I plan on winning it,” said Bibler.
However, their coach says it’s a confidence that has been formed from the work they put in day in and day out.
“For (Dyer) to make the jump that he has in the last year is really impressive,” head coach Jesse Long said. “A lot of it has to do with his work ethic and his desire to be in the room. If the door is open, he is in here. If we go to a tournament, doesn’t matter what’s going on there, he’s there. Probably (Bibler), as long as I’ve coached, the most consistent wrestler I’ve ever coached. He just did the same thing he does every time. He goes out there and competes. He sticks to his game plan and he wrestles tough.”
And their goals for the rest of the season? They’re just as clear and confident.
“I just plan on keep winning, stay undefeated all year,” said Dyer.