BELGRADE — What a whirlwind senior year it’s been for Glendive’s Keegan Mires.
Football has been in the blood of Mires, as his father played at the University of Montana. But the younger Mires, a Dickinson State football commit, is also one of Montana’s top heavyweight wrestlers.
His senior wrestling campaign was slowed before it could get off the ground, though, as Mires had a bacterial infection in his lungs spring up at the team’s season-opening meet in Sidney.
“I don’t know, it just kind of sprung up the first meet,” Mires said. “I just couldn’t breathe after my couple matches and I knew something was wrong. Last year I had pneumonia. Then I just went and got it checked out and everything’s good now. It’s coming around.”
Getting back in shape wasn’t easy, especially with no heavyweight teammates to push him in practice. But that’s where Glendive’s 2002 heavyweight champion and current assistant coach stepped in.
“I have a great coach, Tyler Hostetler, he pushes me every day in practice. There’s just no giving up, got to keep going,” said Mires.
And Mires has. At the Class A duals in Belgrade, the then-fourth-ranked Mires took down the top two wrestlers in the heavyweight class, sending a message before the state tournament and jumping to the No. 1 ranking in Class A.
“I guess that’s just a big confidence booster,” Mires said of his wins. “I’m just going to keep showing up and just keep working my butt off every day in practice and go out and wrestle hard every chance I get.”
Back at full strength, Mires now hopes to replicate what Hostetler did at the 2002 state tournament.