HELENA — With the calendars flipping to February in just a few short days, postseason high school wrestling is upon us. Last season, the Helena High Bengals sent nine wrestlers to the state tournament, including two-time state title winner Isaac Romero and second-place finisher Austin Murphy.
It looks like Bengals head coach Sam Bogard has a handful of wrestlers who can make a deep postseason run in Billings, but that’s not his only goal.
“I’m hoping that we can get as many in there as possible,” Bogard said. “We’re open on (138 pounds), but I’m bringing two in every other weight, so hopefully we can get 14 or 15 kids in.”
One of those kids who is shaping up to make a long run is senior Devin Crawford. With only one Class AA loss to his credit, Crawford has his eye on the prize when it comes to the divisional tournament.
“Taking it one match at a time and basically doing as good as I can, because, obviously, that can be a big help for state — being at the top of divisionals,” said Crawford. “If you get ranked No. 1 or ranked No. 2, that can be the difference between you wrestling the No. 1 guy from the other side in the finals or in the semifinals, so that’s obviously a pretty big deal.”
The Bengals will attempt to punch as many tickets to the state wrestling tournament on Feb. 2 during the seeding tournament hosted at Missoula Big Sky High School.